The quantitative partitioning of digestion between the stomachs, small intestine and large intestine was compared in kids and lambs offered a high quality meadow hay (organic-matter digestibility, 0·74; N, 23·9 g/kg D.M.) in amounts between maintenance and ad libitum.
Nutrient flow past the abomasum and terminal ileum and in the faeces was measured by reference to 51Cr-EDTA and 103Ru-phenanthroline. Digestion of D.M., neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and non-ammonia N (NAN) in the rumen (R), small intestine (SI) and large intestine (LI) was estimated from the regression of nutrient flow on nutrient intake.
No difference was observed between the species in digestion of D.M., NDF and NAN at any site. Approximately 0·60, 0·29 and 0·13 of the total in vivo D.M. digestion (0·74) occurredin the R, SI and LI, respectively, and approximately 0·94 of the total in vivo NDF digestion (0·79) occurred in the rumen of both species.
There was a gain of total N and NAN of 22 and 15%, respectively, in the rumen of both species whilst net disappearance of NAN in the small intestine and of N in the large intestine was approximately 0·62 and 0·27, respectively. All these characteristics varied slightly with level of feeding.
It is concluded that there may be little difference in the partitioning of digestion of D.M., NDF and NAN in the digestive tract of kids and lambs when consuming high quality forages.