Effects of Differences in Fibre Composition and Maturity of Forage-Based Diets on the Fluid Balance, Water-Holding Capacity and Viscosity in Equine Caecum and Colon Digesta - Institut Agro Dijon Access content directly
Journal Articles Animals Year : 2022

Effects of Differences in Fibre Composition and Maturity of Forage-Based Diets on the Fluid Balance, Water-Holding Capacity and Viscosity in Equine Caecum and Colon Digesta

Abstract

Horses are herbivores, and their hindgut functions as a fluid reservoir as forage fibre properties have great impact on the water content of digesta and the milieu in the ecosystem. Our objective was to compare the effect of grass fibre maturity and legume forage on the water-holding capacity (WHC) and viscosity of the equine hindgut and the body weight (BW) and fluid balance of horses. Three diets: concentrate and late harvested grass haylage (35:65 energy ratio) (C); early and late harvested grass haylage (80:20) (G); lucerne and late harvested grass haylage (80:20) (L) were fed to six caecum and colon fistulated horses for 28 days in a Latin-square design. Total water intake and BW were higher when the horses were fed Diet L, but the digesta WHC was higher when fed Diet G. Total water excretion (via faeces + urine) and the difference in total water intake—output was higher when fed Diet L. Viscosity, measured on centrifuged digesta fluid, did not differ between diets, but the individual colon data of one horse were higher. In conclusion, early harvested forage might be beneficial for the fluid balance of athletic horses providing a higher WHC of hindgut digesta without increasing BW. The importance of digesta viscosity in relation to equine diets needs further investigations.

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Zootechny
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hal-03903520 , version 1 (12-03-2024)

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Sara Muhonen, Christelle Philippeau, Véronique Julliand. Effects of Differences in Fibre Composition and Maturity of Forage-Based Diets on the Fluid Balance, Water-Holding Capacity and Viscosity in Equine Caecum and Colon Digesta. Animals, 2022, 12 (23), pp.3340. ⟨10.3390/ani12233340⟩. ⟨hal-03903520⟩
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