1. Studies were undertaken on the disintegration of various carbohydrates
(sugars and cellulose) in the rumen of sheep. For this purpose were
utilised adult merino sheep with permanent fistulae in the rumen.
2. With the animals on standardized diets, ruminal ingesta was periodically
withdrawn by aspiration through the fistula. This material was then
filtered through fine muslin and fermentative activity of the filtrate determined
by measuring the volumes of gas evolved in fermentation tubes
following the addition of different concentrations of sugars.
3. Results obtained show the extreme rapidity with which sugar is
fermented by rumen ingesta, the rate and degree of fermentation depending
on (a) type of sugar used, (b) its concentration in the tubes, and (c) the
nature of the ingesta and the time of its withdrawal.
4. Accompanying the evolution of gas, there is a rapid rise in total
acids within the tubes. This, however, cannot be wholly accounted for either
as volatile acids or as ether soluble non-volatile acids, thus necessitating
5. Methods are described for determining the rate of disappearance
of cellulose within the rumen, through the enclosure of weighed amounts of
cellulose in thin silk bags and the suspension of these through the rumen
Further work along these lines is still in progress.
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