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Fibre digestibility in large herbivores as related to digestion type and body mass — An in vitro approach


Steuer, Patrick; Südekum, Karl-Heinz; Müller, Dennis W H; Kaandorp, Jacques; Clauss, Marcus; Hummel, Jürgen (2013). Fibre digestibility in large herbivores as related to digestion type and body mass — An in vitro approach. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 164(2):319-326.

Abstract

The coexistence of different ungulate species in a given ecosystem has been the focus of many studies. Differences between ruminant foregut fermenters and hindgut fermenters were remarkable for example in the way they ingest and digest high fibre diets. Digestion trials based on total collections are difficult to conduct or are sometimes even not possible for wild animals in the field or in zoos. To gain information on the fibre digestion achieved by these animals and the influence of body mass (BM) thereon, a method using spot sampling is desirable. In this study, in vitro fermentation of faecal neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was used as a measure of fibre digestion in large ungulates. Food and faecal samples of 10 ruminant foregut fermenting and 7 hindgut fermenting species/breeds were collected. All animals received 100% grass hay with ad libitum access. The NDF of food and faeces was fermented in vitro in a Hohenheim gas test (HGT) for 96 h. The digestion type generally had an effect on the gas production (GP) of faecal NDF in the HGT with hindgut fermenters showing higher values than ruminant foregut fermenters. At any time interval of incubation, BM had no influence on GP. The results are in accordance with both findings that ruminant foregut fermenters have longer mean retention times and more comprehensive particle reduction and findings of a lack of influence of BM on digesta mean retention time. It can be stated that the HGT (96 h) is a useful and quick method to show also small differences within groups in fibre digestion.

Abstract

The coexistence of different ungulate species in a given ecosystem has been the focus of many studies. Differences between ruminant foregut fermenters and hindgut fermenters were remarkable for example in the way they ingest and digest high fibre diets. Digestion trials based on total collections are difficult to conduct or are sometimes even not possible for wild animals in the field or in zoos. To gain information on the fibre digestion achieved by these animals and the influence of body mass (BM) thereon, a method using spot sampling is desirable. In this study, in vitro fermentation of faecal neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was used as a measure of fibre digestion in large ungulates. Food and faecal samples of 10 ruminant foregut fermenting and 7 hindgut fermenting species/breeds were collected. All animals received 100% grass hay with ad libitum access. The NDF of food and faeces was fermented in vitro in a Hohenheim gas test (HGT) for 96 h. The digestion type generally had an effect on the gas production (GP) of faecal NDF in the HGT with hindgut fermenters showing higher values than ruminant foregut fermenters. At any time interval of incubation, BM had no influence on GP. The results are in accordance with both findings that ruminant foregut fermenters have longer mean retention times and more comprehensive particle reduction and findings of a lack of influence of BM on digesta mean retention time. It can be stated that the HGT (96 h) is a useful and quick method to show also small differences within groups in fibre digestion.

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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:2013
Deposited On:13 Dec 2012 09:31
Last Modified:16 Oct 2016 07:27
Publisher:Elsevier
Series Name:Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
ISSN:1095-6433
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.10.026
PubMed ID:23103671

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