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Growth of Thoroughbreds fed Different Levels of Protein and Supplemented with Lysine and Threonine
Staniar, William Burton
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Currently accepted optimum protein levels for growth in the horse may be reduced with amino acid supplementation. This study investigated the effects on growth and protein status of Thoroughbred foals offered a supplement with a typical CP level to a supplement that had a lower CP level fortified with limiting amino acids. The control supplement (CS) contained 14% CP, 3.0 Mcal/kg DM, 10% corn oil, 22% soybean meal, 1.4% calcium, and three sources of fiber. The experimental supplement (LTS) contained 9% CP, 3.0 Mcal/kg DM, 10% corn oil, 3% soybean meal, 1.4% calcium, three sources of fiber, and was fortified with .6% lysine and .4% threonine. Lysine and threonine are the first two limiting amino acids in common diets of the horse. Mares and foals were fed twice daily (0700 and 1400) and kept on 30-acre pastures (mixed grass/white clover) until weaning (7 months). Weanlings continued on specified supplements and pastures for seven additional months. Physical measurements and blood samples were taken monthly. Measurements included weight, average daily gain (ADG), body condition (BC), wither height, hip height, length, girth, forearm length, front and hind cannon length, physis and fetlock circumference. Blood analysis included total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), creatinine (CREA), and plasma urea nitrogen (PUN). Effect of diet and time were evaluated by analysis of variance with repeated measures. No differences were found in physical measurements between the CS and LTS groups (ADG 0.8(0.4 kg/day, BC 4.9(0.05) for the observational period. Blood data also showed no difference for the period (ALB 2.9 ( 0.03 g/dl, TP 5.7 ( 0.10 g/dl, CREA 1.1 ( 0.02 mg/dl). These results suggest that the foals offered the LTS faired as well or better than foals on the CS. Lower levels of crude protein (CP) in the diet will result in less nitrogen pollution of pasture lands due to better utilization in the horse. By fortifying a low protein diet with the first two limiting amino acids, the protein is used more efficiently for growth and development, thereby benefiting both the horse and the land.
- Masters Theses