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A monogastric organism has a simple single-chambered stomach, compared with a ruminant organism, like a cow, goat, or sheep, which has a four-chambered complex stomach. Examples of monogastric animals include omnivores such as humans, rats, dogs and pigs, and carnivores such as cats, and herbivores such as horses and rabbits.[1] Herbivores with monogastric digestion can digest cellulose in their diets by way of symbiotic gut bacteria. However, their ability to extract energy from cellulose digestion is less efficient than in ruminants.[2]

Herbivores digest cellulose via microbial fermentation. Monogastric herbivores which can digest cellulose nearly as well as ruminants are called hindgut fermenters, while ruminants are called foregut fermenters.[3] These are subdivided into two groups based on the relative size of various digestive organs in relationship to the rest of the system: colonic fermenters tend to be larger species such as horses and rhinos, and cecal fermenters are smaller animals such as rabbits and rodents.[4] Great apes (other than humans) derive significant amounts of phytanic acid from the hindgut fermentation of plant materials.[5]

Monogastrics cannot digest the fiber molecule cellulose as efficiently as ruminants, though the ability to digest cellulose varies amongst species.[2]

A monogastric digestive system works as soon as the food enters the mouth. Saliva moistens the food and begins the digestive process. After being swallowed, the food passes from the esophagus into the stomach, where stomach acid and enzymes help to break down the food. Bile salts stored in the gall bladder empty the contents of the stomach into the small intestines where most fats are broken down. The pancreas secretes enzymes and alkali to neutralize the stomach acid.


  1. ^ "Monogastrics Vs Ruminents" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b Animal Structure & Function
  3. ^ Hindgut versus Foregut Fermenters
  4. ^ Grant, Kerrin. Adaptations in Herbivore Nutrition, July 30, 2010
  5. ^ Watkins, P. A.; Moser, A. B.; Toomer, C. B.; Steinberg, S. J.; Moser, H. W.; Karaman, M. W.; Ramaswamy, K.; Siegmund, K. D.; Lee, D. R.; Ely, J. J.; Ryder, O. A.; Hacia, J. G. (2010). "Identification of differences in human and great ape phytanic acid metabolism that could influence gene expression profiles and physiological functions". BMC Physiology 10: 19. doi:10.1186/1472-6793-10-19. PMC 2964658. PMID 20932325. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogastric — Please support Wikipedia.
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351 news items


Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:00:00 -0800

The two firms are looking at technologies to help them produce feed products made from silage that can be given to monogastric farm animals, like pigs and chickens. Protein juice for cows. Silage is made from conserved grass and mainly contains fibre ...

Pig World

Pig World
Sun, 01 Nov 2015 21:48:54 -0800

Europe and China are to work together on a monogastric production project to improve the overall efficiency of the livestock involved, while also seeking to reduce their environmental impact. The project, which is called Feed-a-Gene, will focus on the ...


Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:11:44 -0800

In addition, compared with most other plants, duckweed has more percentage of nutrients per dry weight, contains little fibre (approximately 5% dry matter for cultivated plants), and has little to no indigestible material, even for monogastric animals.
Food Ingredients First (press release)
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 02:07:30 -0800

08 Feb 2016 --- Silage made from grass mainly contains fibre but also plenty of protein and sugars. VTT and the Natural Resources Institute Finland are developing and testing methods that will be used for producing feed from silage for monogastric ...

All about feed

All about feed
Thu, 29 Oct 2015 05:22:30 -0700

According to the project founders, environmental issues (phosphate and nitrate concentration in water) caused by monogastric livestock production must be addressed and new solutions to increase the efficiency and sustainability of livestock production ...


Mon, 01 Feb 2016 07:55:35 -0800

Phosphorus and inositol in phytate form is not bioavailable to monogastric animals like pigs and poultry as the animals lack the digestive phytase enzyme to remove phosphate from the inositol in the phytate molecule. Pigs and poultry are largely fed a ...

FG Insight

FG Insight
Thu, 21 Jan 2016 20:17:06 -0800

“The amount of grain used in monogastric systems is staggering. Ignoring cereal-fed beef, if you compare ruminants to monogastric systems there really is little difference in feed conversion, once you take out the human-inedible parts of their diets.”.


Mon, 11 Jan 2016 05:30:00 -0800

AB Vista says super-dosing represented 60% of its phytase, Quantum Blue, sales globally in 2014 to 2015. The UK headquartered feed ingredients company is launching its animal nutrition technical video series on some pioneering scientific approaches to ...

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