A sheep is a ruminant




In the following we would like some initial knowledge about the nutritional requirements and the composition of the feed
mediate for our sheep. All of the knowledge about this cannot be covered on the first page.
Little by little, as time permits, we will then add sub-pages to the website so that everyone can deepen their knowledge.


Image of the stomach of a sheep / ruminant

Source: Nordisk familjebok, volume 12, page 359
 


m - end of the esophagus
v - rumen
n - reticulum
b - leaf stomach
l - abomasum
t - beginning of the small intestine
The stomach in sheep and cattle is structured differently than with pigs and horses. One can simply say that sheep have several stomachs, more precisely 4 stomachs in contrast to pigs and horses, which really only have 1 stomach.

Everyone has the expression ruminant belongs. Sheep and cattle are ruminants. This is why sheep can also make good use of feed that is rich in crude fiber and cellulose.

Digestion after eating goes something like this:

First, the grass, for example, gets into the rumen (part of the stomach) and is returned in portions to the mouth after half an hour. A thorough chewing begins there. After that, the finely chopped up food gets into the leaf stomach.
The decomposition of the feed also takes place in 2 steps. The food that has not yet been chewed has been bacterially processed in the rumen and reticulum. The indigestible cellulose and crude fiber are broken down.

When ruminating, the mash is mixed with saliva. Fermentation acids are thereby neutralized. Then all essential nutrients are removed from the food in the leaf and abomasum (2 other stomachs of the sheep) and later in the small intestine, protein, fatty acids, vitamin B etc. The supply of nutrients is then completed in the large intestine.