The effects of processing of barley-based supplements on rumen pH, rate of digestion of voluntary intake of dried grass in sheep

Br J Nutr. 1975 Nov;34(3):493-500. doi: 10.1017/s0007114575000530.


1. In one experiment the effect on rumen pH of feeding with restricted amounts of whole or pelleted barley was studied. With whole barley there was little variation in rumen pH associated with feeding time, but with pelleted barley the pH decreased from about 7-0 before feeding to about 5-3, 2--3 h after feeding. 2. The rate of disappearance of dried grass during incubation in the rumens of sheep receiving either whole or pelleted barley was studied in a second experiment. After 24 h incubation only 423 mg/g incubated had disappeared in the rumen of sheep receiving pelleted barley while 625 mg/g incubated had disappeared when it was incubated in the rumen of sheep receiving whole barley. 3. The voluntary intake of dried grass of lambs was studied in a third experiment when they received supplements of either 25 or 50 g whole or pelleted barley/kg live weight 0-75. At the high level, pelleted barley reduced intake of dried grass by 534 g/kg but whole barley reduced it by only 352 g/kg. The digestibility of acid-detergent fibre was reduced more by pelleted barley than by whole barley but there was a tendency for a small increase in digestibility of the barley due to processing. 4. The implications of these findings on supplementation of roughages with cereals are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed* / standards
  • Animals
  • Digestion*
  • Edible Grain*
  • Gastric Juice / metabolism
  • Hordeum*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration*
  • Rumen* / metabolism
  • Sheep*