Nutritional Articles

Effects of hay intake and feeding sequence on variables in faeces and faecal water (dry matter, pH value, organic acids, ammonia, buffering capacity) of horses.

Published: 2004-10-18

Brief content of the article
To investigate effects of hay intake and feeding sequence on indicators of the microbial activity within the hindgut, the researchers fed six horses 1.00 kg oats plus 0.50, 0.67, 0.83 or 1.00 kg hay/100 kg body weight (BW) x day, each for 14 days. Oats was offered either 30 min prior to hay (OA) or in the reversed sequence (HA) in a 2 x 8-week crossover design. The main conclusion of the researchers was that hay intake and feeding sequence influence the microbial activity within the hindgut, although the concentrate level remains consistent. In horse rations with 1.00 kg oats/100 kg BW x day amounts of at least 0.83 kg hay/100 kg BW x day and offering the hay first seem to have the potency to protect the hindgut content from acidification. To prevent behavioural abnormalities horses should be fed at least 1.00 kg hay/100 kg BW x day.
Keywords: propionate; VFA; iso-butyrate; l-Lactate; hay; hindgut; faecal water.

Reference
Zeyner, A., Geißler, C. & Dittrich, A. 2004. Effects of hay intake and feeding sequence on variables in faeces and faecal water (dry matter, pH value, organic acids, ammonia, buffering capacity) of horses. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 88: 7-19.

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