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The avian digestive system is way different from the systems we talked about in the previous two posts, it's different than monogastric systems as well. As some of you may know, birds do not have a stomach, or teeth for that matter. This means that they must have some other way of breaking down food for it to be absorbed into their body. This system includes three different parts before the small intestine. These parts are the crop, proventriculus and gizzard (ventriculus.) These parts help aid in breaking down food particles by mechanical and chemical means. Let's start at the crop....

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Last week's blog post talked about ruminants, this week's will talk about hind-gut fermenters. Horses, rabbits, rats, zebras and guinea pigs are all considered hind-gut fermenters, due to the fact they do most of their digestion after the stomach. There are two different types of hind-gut fermenters; cecal and colon fermenters. Rodents are considered to be cecal fermenters while equines are considered to be colon fermenters. Although the digestive system is similar, there are a few minor differences. Cecal fermenters have two different types of feces, hard and soft. The hard pellets that are seen are indigestible fiber while the soft...

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Two weeks ago I posted a blog about rabbits and guinea pigs and made a couple of recommendations on what to feed them. This week, I will dive into the topic of the ruminant digestive system. Okay, maybe not dive completely into the topic, but I will scratch the surface. Ruminants are pretty cool, I mean, without them we wouldn't have steak or the popular outdoor activity of hunting. Cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, elk and deer are all ruminants. Simply put, a ruminant has a four compartment stomach and are able to "ruminate" (chew cud.) These four compartments are the rumen, reticulum, omasum...

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Hello everyone! You may be wondering who is on the the other side of this computer screen, writing all these awesome blogs (well, maybe not awesome, but hopefully they have some good information for you.) So I'll tell you a bit about me. I am currently a senior at Oregon State University studying agriculture with dreams of teaching agriculture at the high school level. I will graduate a year late, with a major in agriculture and minor in animal science and it will be a one year program to get my Master's in agriculture education. I graduated from Elmira High...

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I'll be quite honest, I know next to nothing about rabbits and guinea pigs, but what I do know is that they are hind-gut fermenters and need some sort of forage to live a long happy life. I also know that their teeth grow constantly and they must have a chew block of sorts to keep those teeth trimmed to be able to eat correctly. On a side note, horses are also hind-gut fermenters, but they have a large cecum that functions like a cow's rumen. But enough on that, I'll put it into a different blog post. Rabbits are similar...

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