Foregut fermentation advantages:
- Allows large amounts of food to be stored for later mastication and fermentation.
- The main products of fermentation have plenty of time to be absorbed - as they travel through the rest of the digestive tract.
- Any microbes (bacteria) that help this process can also be digested, releasing proteins.
- all food is exposed to bacterial breakdown (meaning the animal can't utilize high quality protein, sugars, etc.)
- easily digestible substrates can reach the bacteria (can lead to ruminal acidosis - grain overload)
Hindgut fermentation advantages:
- Not all food is exposed to bacterial breakdown
- Protein, fat, non-structured carbohydrates can be utilized like they would be in a carnivore/omnivore
- The amount of easily digestible substrates reaching the hindgut is reduced (preventing things like grain overload)
- only one opportunity to chew food
- may not have enough time for optimal bacterial action
- not all bacterial products get absorbed
- lots of bacteria are lost in the faeces