A device was adapted to allow for time-integrated sampling of fluid from the rumen via a cannula. The sampler consisted of a cup-shaped ceramic filter positioned in the ventral rumen of a cannulated cow and attached to a tube through which fluid entering the filter was removed continuously using a peristaltic pump. Rate of ruminal fluid removal using the device was monitored over two 36-h periods (at 6-h intervals) and was not affected (P > .05) by time, indicating that the system was not susceptible to clogging during this period. Two cows having ad libitum access to a totally mixed ration were used in a split-block design to evaluate the utility of the system for obtaining time-integrated samples of ruminal fluid. Ruminal fluid VFA concentration and pattern in samples collected in two replicated 8-h periods by the time-integrated sampler (at 1-h intervals) were compared with composite samples collected using a conventional suction-strainer device (at 30-min intervals). Each 8-h collection period started 2 h before or 6 h after feeding. Results indicated that total VFA concentration was not affected (P > .05) by the sampling method. Volatile fatty acid patterns were likewise unaffected (P > .05) except that acetate was 2.5% higher (P < .05) in samples collected 2 h before feeding and valerate was 5% higher (P < .05) in samples collected 6 h after feeding by the suction-strainer device. Although significant, these differences were not considered physiologically important. We concluded that use of the ceramic filter improved the sampling of ruminal fluid by simplifying the technique and allowing time-integrated samples to be obtained.
Additional publication details
Technical note: A device for obtaining time-integrated samples of ruminal fluid