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Goat Digestive Physiology

Goats, like cattle and sheep are ruminants, which basically means they have a four chambered stomach. The four chambers are the rumen (approximately 30% of the stomach mass), the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum (approximately 70% of the stomach mass).

The digestive process starts with taking food into their mouths. The food is ground, chewed and mixed with saliva in the mouth. The "cud" enters the oesophagus and with muscular movement pushed down to the rumen. The microbes in the rumen break down the food from there it passes to the omasum where water and volatile fatty acids are absorbed. From there it passes to the abdomen where the “cud” (food) is digested by hydrochloric acid, as it does in humans.

From the abomasum, the end products move through the small intestine and then the large intestine where they are excreted as dung.

(Sourced from Farming Meat Goats by Barbara Vincent)