In summary, all animals must find food, orally evaluate it, and then digest it and recover nutrients before evacuation. Simple-stomached farm animals have limited resources to assimilate food, and therefore require high-quality feed-stuffs in order to perform favorably. Additional capacity for digestion and synthesis by ruminants, provided by an expansive symbiotic microflora at the front of the GI system, reduces contraints on feedstuff sources. Nonru-minant herbivores employ similar microbes after formal nutrient recovery, and fermentive activity largely improves energy access. Coping with genetic alterations to feedstuffs, enzyme supplements that improve digestive capacity, threats from food pathogens, and excreta pollution with intensive production requires that producers understand the functioning of the GI system.

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