Standardization of in Situ Techniques for Ruminant Feedstuff Evaluation

Eric S. Vanzant, Robert C. Cochran, Evan C. Titgemeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

274 Scopus citations


Over the last two decades, in situ techniques have been used extensively for measuring ruminal degradation of feedstuffs. Current predictive models put renewed emphasis on the need for quantitative information regarding rates and extents of ruminal degradation. However, in situ techniques suffer from tremendous variation, both within and among laboratories. A considerable number of studies have evaluated the influence of various factors on in situ-derived estimates of ruminal degradation. Factors that should be addressed in a standardized procedure include bag and sample sizes; bag material and pore size- sample processing; animal diet, feeding level, and frequency; bag insertion and removal procedures; location of bags within the rumen and containment procedures for the bags; rinsing procedures; microbial correction; incubation times; mathematical models; and numbers of replicate animals, days, and bags required to obtain repeatable estimates of ruminal degradation. Several recommendations that should increase the precision of in situ measurements are presented. Currently, the lack of standardization in rinsing techniques and the failure or inability to correct for microbial contamination of in situ residues seem to be the major sources of variability with in situ procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2717-2729
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998


  • Digestion
  • Measurement
  • Ruminants
  • Techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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