Goat Digestive System

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Goat Digestive System

By | November 2011
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The goat is considered a ruminant animal. The digestive system includes the mouth, esophagus, four stomach parts, a cecum, a small intestine and a large intestine. Goats have no upper teeth so they use the dental pad, lower teeth, tongue and lips to eat their food. The four compartments to the stomach are the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasums.

The esophagus is what moves food from the mouth to the stomach. It opens into the stomach at the opening of the rumen and reticulum, which helps transfer both gases and cud. The rumen is the biggest of the four parts of the stomach of any ruminant animal. The capacity ranges from three to six gallons depending on the type of feed. It’s lines with small projections called papillae; this increases the absorptive surface of the rumen. This compartment is also known as the paunch, it contains many microorganisms. These microorganisms also convert components of the feed to useful products such as essential amino acids, B-complex vitamins and vitamin K. Volatile fatty acids are absorbed through the rumen wall and can provide as much as eight percent of the animal’s total energy requirements. The reticulum is also known as the honeycomb or the hardware stomach and is located just below the entrance of the esophagus into the stomach. If a goat were to swallow something such as wire, nails, or screws, these objects would be lodged in the reticulum and could potentially cause serious injury. The reticulum is part of the rumen. The capacity of the reticulum of a goat ranges from ¼ to ½ of a gallon.

The omasum is the compartment also known as the manyplies. It consists of many layers of tissue that grind up feed and squeeze some of the water from the feed. The capacity of the omasum is about ¼ of a gallon. The abomasums is the compartment is often known as the true stomach of ruminant animals. The functions are very similar to the human stomachs. Pepsin is responsible for breaking down proteins before they enter...
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