National Foods Stockfeeds :: Terms You Should Know

Terms You Should Know

Rumen Microbiota

Rumen microbiota is the whole ecosystem living inside the rumen of a cattle. It includes specific bacteria, yeast, fungi, protozoa, and viruses and these must be in the correct proportions for the rumen to function well. Of great importance are the bacterial and protozoa species, which feed on the forages ingested by the cattle and produce end products that are absorbed and utilised by the cattle.


Urea is a source of non-protein nitrogen. When cattle ingest feed with urea, the nitrogen is released in the rumen as ammonia. This can be used by the rumen microflora to make protein. This protein can be digested and absorbed by the cattle. However, if a large amount of urea is ingested, the ammonia released will be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and this is toxic to the animal. At the same time, the PH in the rumen rises, and the rumen ceases to function normally. Signs of urea poisoning include uneasiness, tremors, rapid breathing, bloat, and incoordination. Urea poisoning can cause death.


Colostrum is the first form of milk that is secreted by the mammary glands of all mammals, including cows, immediately following the delivery of the newborn. It is very nutritious and contains high levels of antibodies, which are proteins that fight infections and diseases.

Block vs Cube

The block is a large chunk that should be licked and not eaten, whilst a cube is a large pellet that is meant to be ingested.

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