The influence of nature of the feed sample, feeding frequency and pore size on the influx of bacteria and protozoa into synthetic fiber bags suspended in the rumens of sheep fed different diets was studied. Counts of total culturable bacteria in bags with a pore size of 10 μm were less than 30% of the ruminal counts for animals that were fed the lucerne hay and high-roughage diets. The maximum count (62 and 82% of the ruminal count) for these specific diets was obtained by using bags with a pore size of 53 μm. Protozoal counts in bags with pore sizes of 30 and 53 μm were equal to or higher than the ruminal counts for the lucerne hay and high-roughage diets but less than half of the ruminal count for the low-roughage diet. An interaction between incubation time, feeding frequency of the host animals, and the microbial populations developing inside the bags was also demonstrated. The results clearly show that the microbial population inside the bag differed from that of the surrounding ruminal ingesta and that caution must be taken in interpreting results on feed evaluation and especially on rates of degradation when using the in sacculus technique. Factors influencing the influx of bacteria and protozoa into bags with different pore sizes and containing a variety of substrates are discussed together with suggestions for the use of this technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology