The first of 4 stomachs in cattle. The rumen contains various microbes that breakdown plant based feedstuffs into volatile fatty acids for energy.


A hooved animal with a rumen. A ruminant’s process of digestion involves ingesting plant matter, regurgitating the semi-digested material (cud), chewing the cud, re-swallowing this material and fermenting it in the rumen. Sheep, cows, goats and buffalo are ruminants (see rumen).

Ryegrass Staggers

A disease that effects the nervous system of animals who have ingested perennial ryegrass containing high levels of lolitrem B. Symptoms include ataxia, lack of coordination, collapse and head shaking. These effects are temporary but lack of coordination can causes drowning and running into fences etc. Most common when pastures are over-grazed.