Ruminants chew and swallow their food during the initial stage of their digestion. 1. The one major difference between the two are their structure and function of the stomach. Non-ruminant animals have little or no ability to digest and absorb fibre and could not sustain an adequate level of production on forage diets. Ruminant vs. Non-Ruminant Digestive System What are they? The proximal part (stomach, small intestine) of the gastrointestinal tract is … lymphatic system, in contrast to short- and medium-chain FA (