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Rumen Fermentations and Energy Relationships in White-Tailed Deer

Henry L. Short
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Apr., 1963), pp. 184-195
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3798397
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3798397
Page Count: 12
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Rumen Fermentations and Energy Relationships in White-Tailed Deer
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Abstract

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and a permanently fistulated Holstein--Friesian steer were concurrently fed three diets: (1) an alfalfa--corn concentrate, (2) reproductive sprouts of big-tooth aspen (Populus grandidentata), and (3) leaf sprays of white cedar (Thuja occidentalis). Volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations in rumen liquor and the composition of VFA's and gases from in vitro fermentations demonstrated that the deer and the steer utilized the alfalfa--corn concentrate similarly but that the deer digested aspen and white cedar better than did the steer. Deer rumen liquor from all diets digested cellulose at a low rate, and white cedar oils inhibited fermentation by steer rumen microorganisms. Rumen size and total wet and dry weights for rumen contents were smaller for the deer, when compared with body size, than were comparable measurements for the cow. It is argued that VFA's resulting from rumen fermentation may provide up to half the maintenance energy requirements of deer.

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