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The establishment of different bacterial populations and fungi in the rumen was investigated in lambs reared under different conditions of diet and management. The rumen was rapidly colonized by an abundant microflora after birth. By day 2 strictly anaerobic bacteria predominated (lo9 c.f.u. ml-I); their population increased slightly during the first week of life and again when the animals began to ingest solid feed (3 weeks). The composition of the microflora in the 2-10-d-old lambs was quitedoi:10.1099/00221287-133-7-1835 fatcat:ogl3ifywqjfbpn4nk7rojmat54