Paper-Lecture13 - COMPOSITION LISHMENT OF THE RUMINAL FLORA...

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COMPOSITION OF THE RUMINAL FLORA AND ESTAB- LISHMENT OF RUMINAL CILIATED PROTOZOAL SPECIES IN ISOLATED CALVES PHLETUS P. WILLIAMS 1 AND WILLIAM E. DINUSSON 2, 3, 4 U.S. Department of Agriculture and North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58102 N EWBORN ruminants are microbially in- oculated by swallowing saliva and digesta from the dam (Hungate, 1966). Separation of the young ruminant from the mature animals may require artificial inoculation to hasten the development of hay-type bacteria in the rumen (Pounden and Hibbs, 1948). However, Bryant et al. (1958) noted that three calves in isolation established groups of bacteria in rumen contents similar to mature ruminants. Such calves at 13 to 15 weeks of age exposed to mature ruminants established mixtures of ruminaI ciliated protozoa (RCP). These findings appear to support the sug- gestion of Bryant et al. (1958) that the rumen is physiologically well adapted for the devel- opment of the ruminal flora at an early age without RCP-species being present. The purposes of this study were to obtain information on total culturable numbers and differential counts of bacteria in isolated calves at various ages, and to establish RCP-popula- tions in calves at different ages as sources of protozoal species for in vitro experiments. Materials and Methods Isolated Calves and Feeding Procedures. Thirty-one male and female calves of the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein or Shorthorn breeds were separated from the dams within 24 to 48 hr. after birth and placed in isolation stalls. Colostrum was fed for 3 days. Thereafter, whole milk previously heated at 55 C for 25 rain. was fed daily at 8:00 am and 5:00 pm to 75 days of age at a rate of 2.5% of body weight, based on weekly weighings. Nursing chow (Ralston Purina Co., St. Louis, Missouri) was fed according to the AnimaI Science Research Division, ARS, Metabolism and Radiation Research Laboratory, Fargo, North Dakota 58102. Department of Animal Science, North Dakota State Uni- versity, Fargo 58102. a The authors wish to express appreciation to Mary Clare Helgeson for technical assistance and to Maurice C. Bush and Daniel J. Cottrell for caring for the animals. Reference to a company or product name does not imply approval or recommendation of the product by the U.S. De- partment of Agriculture to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. directions to 15 of the calves instead of whole milk. For the first 28 days, the calves were allowed free access to a pelleted ration of al- falfa, grain and wheat bran (10:5:1), and thereafter this ration was fed at a rate of 1.5% of body weight twice daily. The grain mixture contained in percent: corn, 19.0; barley, 30.0; oats, 34.0; soybean meal, 15.0; salt, 1.0; di- calcium phosphate, 0.95; trace minerals, 0.05 and vitamin A, not less than 4400 IU/kilo. Water was provided ad libitum. All calves were dehorned by 55 days of age, and male calves were castrated by 66 clays of age. Rumen Sampling and Stall Cleaning Pro- cedures. A portable air-vacuum pump set at 6.6 to 10.2 cm Hg vacuum for small calves and 10.2 to 12.7 cm Hg vacuum for calves~
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Paper-Lecture13 - COMPOSITION LISHMENT OF THE RUMINAL FLORA...

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