Everything is there, omasum, abomasum, reticulum and rumen, the rumen is just not functioning. All milk is directed to the abomasum, this will gradually change. The bugs are all present too, they just aren't stimulated until the calf starts eating solids. That's the reason a calf doesn't need anything to get the rumen started, but if too many antibiotics are given it can kill the rumen flora and may require a product that will get things going again. We used to just steal a cud from one of the others and feed it to them, now there are several products on the market that apparently do the same thing.
> Where do the microbes come from
> that allow a calf to develop their
> rumens, since they're born
Calves are not born monogasrics, they have a by-pass for the first 24 hours (apx) that allows the cholostrum to go right to the intestine where antibodies can be absorbed across the gut wall, them normal digestion of milk occurs through the gut. Nursing is not as clean as you might think, cows lay down in feces and the teats become dirty, a source of bacteria. also they some times get pooped on on their head, bacteria, they also get into poop on the ground, bacteria, all of these bacteria get to the gut and develop a healthy microflora in the calf's digestive syst.
Calves can begin to reumanate at 40 days, as evidenced in my own heard, a calf laying down chewing her cud at 40 days, they mimic their mothers in the pasture, picking at grass and grazing, they can't help but start reumanating.
Try two weeks. The dirty teat theory is interesting, but what about bottle calves?
> Calves are not born monogasrics,
> they have a by-pass for the first
> 24 hours (apx) that allows the
> cholostrum to go right to the
> intestine where antibodies can be
> absorbed across the gut wall, them
> normal digestion of milk occurs
> through the gut. Nursing is not as
> clean as you might think, cows lay
> down in feces and the teats become
> dirty, a source of bacteria. also
> they some times get pooped on on
> their head, bacteria, they also
> get into poop on the ground,
> bacteria, all of these bacteria
> get to the gut and develop a
> healthy microflora in the calf's
> digestive syst.
> Calves can begin to reumanate at
> 40 days, as evidenced in my own
> heard, a calf laying down chewing
> her cud at 40 days, they mimic
> their mothers in the pasture,
> picking at grass and grazing, they
> can't help but start reumanating.
No, the rumen bypass happens every time a calf nurses. It is called "closure of the esophageal groove" and an indication of it is when the tail is wagging during nursing. This bypasses the rumen during nursing, since the milk is properly digested through the abomasum only. A ruminent will begin to digest food via the rumen starting at about one month but it really starts working well at about 12 weeks or more. For the first 24 hours, the gut can absorb antibodies via colostrum or other supplement (via man) but then the gut closes. This has nothing to do with rumination, since pigs are monogastrics and this occurs in them as well... I've seen calves sucking on grass and chewing it at one week, but that doesn't mean they're getting anything out of it.
That is a very interesting theory on the tail wagging, never heard that one before.
Passive transfer is the passing of coloostral immunoglobulins in calves and what is required to ensure a high level of colostral immunity in the calves(Health and Prod. Management of Dairy Calves and Replacement heifers). This occures within the fist 24-48 hours, there are many oppinions on this.
Development of Rumen Function:
At birth there are No Rumen microflora in the rumen of the calf. The rumen becomes inoculated with microflora from the environment, including the hair coat, feces and saliva of other animals, bedding and feeds consumed. When the calf eats dry feed, the abomasal groove does not function, and therefore the feed directly enters the reticulum and rumen where it must be digested or chewed further through rumination or cud chewing. Calves may begin to ruminate by 2 weeks of age depending on diet. If water is not provided to the calf in early life, then rumen microbia growth will be limited. Water that is consumed does not bypass the rumen through the esophageal groov but becomes available for the calf's rumen microflora. The development of the rumen and reticulum of the calf is highly dependant on the diet of the calf. ( Taken from: Herd Health: Food animal production medicine. Otto M. Radostits 3rd Edition).
No comments or opinions please, this is published data, not an idea or thought.
Theory is fact, tean would comply with calf's environment, as it goes into the calfs mouth, thus is a vector for microbes, bacteria etc to enter the calf's system.
Yes 2 weekss is the correct answere, I just made the comment 40 days, as I currently have many 40+ day old calves out nursing cows that lay around loafing and ruminating, by the way, if you watch each calf they will have a number of times that they each chew their cud before swallowing that is common for them, and will do this much of their life, try it it is very interesting.
No need to get pissy, just relating what I observe, these calves were ruminating sooner I am sure, but how soon I did not see, so would not make a comment on. I worry about a calf not nursing, not if it is ruminating at 1 month of age. If you want a calf to ruminate sooner use Fastrack or probios and provide it with a diet such as hay and grain so it has what it needs to ruminate, you will have provided the microflora, thus the bottle calf question is answered.
The First is a series of Four digestive compartments in a ruminant animal.
Rumen-Reticulum-Omasum-Abomasum. During nursing there is a stimulation of the (Esophageal)Abomasal Groove which allows the milk to by-pass the Rumen-Reticulum-Omasum, the Abomasum is apx 70% of the total stomach volume in the calf, whereas it is only 8% in the ruminant animals. The abomasum of the newborn calf is physically an biochemically of initiating the digestion of milk. (Herd Health: Food Animal Production Medicine, Otto M. Radostits, 3rd Edition)." Digestive system of Newborn Calf"
A paper version of this article can be found in J. gen. Microbiol. (1962), 29, 563-578.
According to the last paragraph in the introduction section (paraphrased):
Becker & Hsiung in 1929 have shown that the rumen ciliates are
passed from animal to animal by direct transfer of saliva. Cysts have never been found and viable rumen
ciliate are absent in the food and faeces. The active organisms are killed by exposure
to air. Transfer is normally done by direct mouth-to-mouth contact between
On another note, neonatal calves are extremely vulnerable to Ecoli (K99).
This organism is typically responsible for the diarrhea observed during the first three days of life and calves catch it when:
1) They don't get colostrum in time (before 24 hrs is critical and ideally within the first 6 hrs of life. The best colostrum is that of older cows because they have been exposed to more diseases and their colostrum will have a larger variety of antibodies compared to a primiparous cow. Colostrum can be frozen, but must be thawed fairly quickly and not with boiling water because that may denature the antibodies)
2) The navel is not dry (dipping several times a day in 5% iodine tincture is a solution)
3) They are exposed to unsanitary conditions (ie manure)
WOW, talk about digging up a thread from the grave!... Learned a bit anyhow!
And as Michelle said, I have counted how many times my cows chew each mouthful of cud, and found a positive correlation between that an their feed efficiency... it's not surprising really. I found the less efficient animals usually chew it about 40 times, and the more efficient ones around 70 times... That's a whole lot more grinding and mixing with the enzymes in the saliva, which I'm sure is the biggest reason for the improved feed efficiency. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd guess this is of greater importance when they're fed more fibrous foods.. like grass, as opposed to grains
As previously stated, yes, calves will eat grass/hay, early on - and you'll see them chewing - but, they won't be gaining much nutrition from it, for several weeks/months. It takes some time to develop rumen capacity (the forestomachs are fairly small at birth) and to develop functional rumen papillae that can properly absorb the volatile fatty acids that the rumen microherd produces in the fermentation process. Microbial populations that populate the forestomach come from a variety of sources, including mom licking/grooming the calf after she's regurgitated up a cud - those bacteria/protozoa are present in the oral cavity/saliva, etc.
Newer research is showing that the uterus and mammary glands are not a sterile environment, and the newborns are actually colonized by various bacteria in utero - not just as they pass through the birth canal - and receive additional bacterial strains in mother's milk - as well as those they encounter in the environment. Fortunately, so long as those bacteria are not pathogenic species, we don't see placentitis/abortion or mastitis - until things get out of whack.
Interesting little reads here: http://www.the-scientist.com/?home.beyond-the-gut