Nutritional Articles

Fiber digestion in horses fed typical diets with and without exogenous fibrolytic enzymes

Published: 2003-06-25

Fiber digestion in horses fed typical diets with and without exogenous fibrolytic enzymes
Brief content of the article
The authors studied the effect of supplementing a commercial product which contained microbial xylanase and cellulase on fiber digestibility. Eight yearling geldings were fed 4 typical diets (sweet feed, pelleted concentrate, whole oats or alfalfa cubes with different ingredient composition with and without a commercial product according to a 4 x 4 latin square design. The yearlings were fed Coastal Bermudagrass hay at a rate of 1.5% of bodyweight. Each experimental period consisted of a 10 day acclimation period to the diet followed by a two day faecal collection period. Subsequently, the horses were fed the same diet for seven days but the commercial product was administrated. This acclimatisation period was also followed by a two day collection period. The authors concluded that the administration of exogenous xylanase and cellulase improved digestibility of plant cell wall constituents in feeds typically fed to horses. The results may be usefull for reducing the amount of concentrate feed that would be needed to fullfill the energy demands. However, apparent fiber digestibility was decreased when the commercial product was fed in combination with the alfalfa diet. The authors could not explain this phenomenon.
Keywords: acid detergent fibre; NDF; ADF; acid detergent fibre; hemicellulose; dry matter; enzymes.

Reference
Hainze, M.T.M., Muntifering, R.B., and McCall, C.A. 2003. Fiber digestion in horses fed typical diets with and without exogenous fibrolytic enzymes. J. Eq. Vet. Sci. 23: p 111 – 115.

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