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Comparative ingestive mastication in domestic horses and cattle: a pilot investigation


Janis, C M; Constable, E C; Houpt, K A; Streich, W J; Clauss, Marcus (2010). Comparative ingestive mastication in domestic horses and cattle: a pilot investigation. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 94(6):e402-e409.

Abstract

It is often assumed that horses chew food more intensively during ingestion than cattle, which - as ruminants - complete part of the mastication during rumination. This has been proposed as a reason for more robust mandibles, larger masseter insertion areas and larger masseter muscles in horses as compared to cattle and other grazing ruminants. In this study, we evaluate results of comparative feeding trials with three horses (338–629 kg) and three cows (404–786 kg), on four different roughages. Ingestion time (s/g dry matter) and chewing intensity (chews/g dry matter) differed among animals within a species, indicating an influence of body mass, and differed significantly between different forages. However, although numerical differences clearly suggest that horses have longer ingestion times and higher chewing intensities on high-fibre roughage than do cattle, this could not be proven in this dataset, most likely because of the small number of individuals sampled. Further studies are required to corroborate the suspected ingestive behaviour difference between equids and ruminants.

It is often assumed that horses chew food more intensively during ingestion than cattle, which - as ruminants - complete part of the mastication during rumination. This has been proposed as a reason for more robust mandibles, larger masseter insertion areas and larger masseter muscles in horses as compared to cattle and other grazing ruminants. In this study, we evaluate results of comparative feeding trials with three horses (338–629 kg) and three cows (404–786 kg), on four different roughages. Ingestion time (s/g dry matter) and chewing intensity (chews/g dry matter) differed among animals within a species, indicating an influence of body mass, and differed significantly between different forages. However, although numerical differences clearly suggest that horses have longer ingestion times and higher chewing intensities on high-fibre roughage than do cattle, this could not be proven in this dataset, most likely because of the small number of individuals sampled. Further studies are required to corroborate the suspected ingestive behaviour difference between equids and ruminants.

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8 citations in Web of Science®
12 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:December 2010
Deposited On:23 Dec 2010 16:35
Last Modified:09 Sep 2016 07:13
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0931-2439
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0396.2010.01030.x
PubMed ID:20662959
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-38474

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