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Apparent digestibility of wheat bran and extruded flax in horses determined from the total collection of feces and acid-insoluble ash as an internal marker

  • M. De Marco (a1), N. Miraglia (a2), P. G. Peiretti (a3) and D. Bergero (a1)

Abstract

Several studies have reported data on comparisons between two methods: the total collection of feces and the internal markers method. The aim of this study was to assess the apparent digestibility of two concentrates and to compare the apparent digestion coefficients using the total collection of feces and acid-insoluble ash (AIA) as the internal marker method. In 2009, six adult geldings aged between 3 and 11 years, with an average weight per trial of 543, 540 and 542 kg, respectively, were used to determine the apparent digestibility by means of three in vivo digestibility trials on hay, hay plus wheat bran (60 : 40) and hay plus extruded flax (80 : 20). Feces were collected over a 6-day period with a previous 14-day adaptation period. The three digestibility trials were carried out to determine the digestion coefficients of the three diets and, indirectly, of the two concentrates. The digestion coefficients of the diets were determined for the dry matter, organic matter, crude protein and gross energy, whereas the apparent digestion coefficients of the same parameters were calculated for wheat bran and extruded flax, by calculating the difference from the previous results. The data were analyzed using the Student t-test for paired samples. The digestion coefficients obtained were similar when the total collection of feces and the AIA method were used. Higher data variability, confirmed by a greater standard deviation, was observed using the AIA method to estimate the apparent digestion coefficients. It can be concluded that the use of AIA as an internal marker in digestibility trials on average leads to values similar to those obtained with the total collection of feces and can therefore be considered a less-expensive method to determine apparent digestion coefficients. Nevertheless, the total collection of feces should still be considered the best choice to determine the digestibility of some specific feedstuffs.

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Keywords

Apparent digestibility of wheat bran and extruded flax in horses determined from the total collection of feces and acid-insoluble ash as an internal marker

  • M. De Marco (a1), N. Miraglia (a2), P. G. Peiretti (a3) and D. Bergero (a1)

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