Rumen Protozoa: The Animals within the Cow
Emergent growth of East Indian hygrophila. Figure 1 from publication SS-AGR-411/AG413: East Indian Hygrophila: Hygrophila polysperma (Roxb.) T. Anderson. Credit: Lyn Gettys, UF/IFAS.
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beef cattle
dairy health
Rumen Protozoa

How to Cite

Hackmann, Timothy J. 2017. “Rumen Protozoa: The Animals Within the Cow: AN331/AN331, 1/2017”. EDIS 2017 (2). Gainesville, FL:4.


As a cow ambles around and eats from the feed bunk, legions of other “animals” are feeding within the cow’s rumen. Billions of protozoa swim about in a single, 20-gallon rumen, colliding with one another while engulfing feed particles and bacteria. These microbes contribute vitally to rumen fermentation and have both positive and negative impacts on animal performance. This 4-page fact sheet discusses classification, activities, removal, and impacts of protozoa. Written by Timothy J. Hackmann, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, January 2017. ­Archived September 2020
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.