SUMMARY: A method is described which is suitable for routine viable counts of rumen bacteria capable of fermenting various carbohydrates. The contribution of different steps in the preparation of the medium towards the final redox potential was determined and the choice of a suitable reducing agent, redox indicator and source of rumen fluid supplement is discussed. In a sheep on a constant practical ration, the variation in numbers of cellulolytic bacteria was greater than the differences between five successive samples withdrawn at one time, and much greater than the variation due to the method.


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