Abstract: A survey of the components of the rumen ciliate population in a series of adult sheep, raised in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Alexandria, has shown that a mixture of Entodinium, Isotricha, Ophryoscolex, Diplodinium, and Polyplastron species was found in the rumen contents of Egyptian sheep; no Epidinium and a negligible number of Dasytricha ruminantium were also observed. The microbial population, reducing sugars, ammonia, volatile fatty acids (VFA) production, and growth rate of 14 lambs inoculated with whole rumen contents from a mature sheep were compared over a 6-month period with those of 13 lambs maintained under the same conditions, except that they were strictly isolated from other ruminants. Certain large oval organisms and large numbers of flagellates and Oscillospira were frequently observed in the rumen contents of the isolated lambs. The reducing sugars, ammonia, and VFA levels, measured before and at intervals after feeding, in the inoculated lambs showed a pronounced rise above the values found in the ciliate-free animals. The propionic acid-acetic acid ratio in the rumen contents of the faunated lambs was considerably higher than in the nonfaunated controls. The inoculated lambs grew faster than the isolated lambs. Differences in weight gain which ranged from 15 to 17% were statistically significant. The inoculated animals impressed the observers by their good appearance which was superior to that of the ciliate-free lambs. It was, therefore, concluded that the rumen ciliate protozoa are essential for the metabolism and growth of young lambs.