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Comparison of gut fill in sheep (Ovisaries) measured by intake, digestibility, and digesta retention compared with measurements at harvest


Munn, Adam; Stewart, Mathew; Price, Elizabeth; Peilon, Alice; Savage, Tom; Van Ekris, Irene; Clauss, Marcus (2015). Comparison of gut fill in sheep (Ovisaries) measured by intake, digestibility, and digesta retention compared with measurements at harvest. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 93(10):747-753.

Abstract

Gut capacity is an important factor in digestive physiology, and often measured as dry matter fill (DMF) following dissection, which prevents repeated measures in the same animal. It was proposed to calculate DMF from food intake, digestibility and gut mean retention time (MRT), but empirical tests of this are few. We calculated DMF from intake, digestibility and the MRT of a small (1 mm) and a large (20 mm) particle marker in 20 sheep (Ovis aries Linnaeus 1758) fed at different intake levels, and compared results with DMF at dissection at the end of the feeding trial. MRT for smaller particles was significantly shorter than for larger particles (34.4 ±6.1 vs. 42.5 ±7.6 h, respectively). Correspondingly, DMF calculated from smaller particles (0.98 ±0.27 kg) was significantly lower than DMF calculated from larger particles (1.20 ±0.30 kg). The latter was not significantly different from DMF measured at dissection (1.18 ±0.34 kg). These results suggest that DMF can be estimated from measures of digestive physiology. The choice of particle marker to determine MRT is crucial for the accuracy of the proxy. In ruminants, where small particles are consistently eliminated faster than larger particles, considerations of marker particle size are particularly important.

Abstract

Gut capacity is an important factor in digestive physiology, and often measured as dry matter fill (DMF) following dissection, which prevents repeated measures in the same animal. It was proposed to calculate DMF from food intake, digestibility and gut mean retention time (MRT), but empirical tests of this are few. We calculated DMF from intake, digestibility and the MRT of a small (1 mm) and a large (20 mm) particle marker in 20 sheep (Ovis aries Linnaeus 1758) fed at different intake levels, and compared results with DMF at dissection at the end of the feeding trial. MRT for smaller particles was significantly shorter than for larger particles (34.4 ±6.1 vs. 42.5 ±7.6 h, respectively). Correspondingly, DMF calculated from smaller particles (0.98 ±0.27 kg) was significantly lower than DMF calculated from larger particles (1.20 ±0.30 kg). The latter was not significantly different from DMF measured at dissection (1.18 ±0.34 kg). These results suggest that DMF can be estimated from measures of digestive physiology. The choice of particle marker to determine MRT is crucial for the accuracy of the proxy. In ruminants, where small particles are consistently eliminated faster than larger particles, considerations of marker particle size are particularly important.

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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:2015
Deposited On:14 Oct 2015 13:35
Last Modified:28 Oct 2016 07:23
Publisher:NRC Research Press
ISSN:0008-4301
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2014-0314

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