The four sections of a deer’s stomach are the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum. First, the food goes into the rumen which stores 8 to 9 quarts of un-chewed food and acts as a fermentation vat. Most of the digestion occurs in this area of the stomach. Deer depend on billions of microorganisms that live in its stomach. These microorganisms break down the fibers, cellulose, and other basic plant components, and convert them into materials that can be used by the deer’s digestive system. The lining of the rumen has small spaghetti-like fringes called papillae, which vary in length from 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Over 40 percent of a deer’s energy is derived from the acids absorbed through the papillae and the walls of the rumen. After the deer has filled its paunch, it lies down in a secluded place to chew its cud. After chewing its cud for awhile, the deer re-swallows the food, which then passes to the second portion of the stomach, the reticulum. The reticulum has a lining that looks like a honeycomb. The reticulum holds the food in a clump, which can grow to the size of a softball. The main function of the reticulum is to filter out any foreign material. After about sixteen hours, the food passes to the third chamber, the omasum, where intensive digestion and absorption take place. The omasum’s lining has forty flaps of varying heights, which absorb most of the water from the food. The last compartment, the abomasum, has a very smooth, slippery lining with about a dozen elongated folds. The abomasum produces acid to break down the food pieces for easier absorption of nutrients. The food eventually passes through 67 feet of intestines, where most of the liquid is absorbed, leaving an impacted mass of undigested particles. These particles are passed out as excrement. A deer deficates an average of 13 times every 24 hours. Usually 65 percent of the food will be used by the animal, and 5 percent is lost as methane gas, 5 percent as urine, and 25 percent as feces.
We believe a key factor in getting the best results for antler growth is to begin with probiotics.
The reason for using Prebiotics and Probiotics is to increase the four chambers of the stomach and intestinal tracks ability to breakdown and absorb the fibers and nutrients in your feed.
Prebiotics are sources of non-digestible, soluble fiber that serve as food for the probiotics or “good” bugs in the large intestine, keeping them healthy. Examples of prebiotics are: arabinogalactan, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, mannanoligosaccharides(MOS), pectin and psyllium.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) fed to promote healthy digestive and immune function. When these “good” bugs break down food ingredients that the body normally can’t, they produce energy and vitamins for the body, food for cells in the cecum and colon, and byproducts that keep the “bad” bugs such as E Coli from growing. Research suggests probiotics are useful in repopulating the intestine with “good” bugs.