Date of this Version



© 1976, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide contains information on the use of high energy values in ration formulation.

Ruminants digest feedstuffs primarily by fermentation in the rumen. This allows ruminant animals to use both roughages and grains as sources of carbohydrates for energy. Part of the carbohydrates pass through the rumen and are digested in the abomasum and small intestine. Most carbohydrates in feeds are converted to either acetic, propionic or butyric acid by rumen bacteria and protozoa. These short chain fatty acids are then absorbed through the rumen wall into the blood stream and eventually are used for energy in body tissue.