Fibre digestibility, abundance of faecal bacteria and plasma acetate concentrations in overweight adult mares.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of the present study was to compare digestibility of grass hay, faecal and plasma volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations, and faecal bacterial abundance in overweight and moderate-condition mares. Five overweight adult mixed-breed mares and five adult mixed-breed mares in moderate condition were housed individually and limit-fed orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) hay at 20 g/kg body weight (as fed) daily for 14 d. Forage DM and fibre digestibility were determined using AOAC methods; digestible energy was measured using bomb calorimetry; plasma and faecal VFA concentrations were determined by use of GC and MS; faecal Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and total bacteria abundance was determined by quantitative real-time PCR using previously designed phylum-specific 16S ribosomal RNA gene primers. No differences in hay digestibility, faecal VFA concentrations or faecal bacterial abundance were detected between overweight and moderate-condition mares. Mean plasma acetate concentrations were higher (P = 0·03) in overweight (1·55 (range 1·43-1·65) mmol/l) v. moderate-condition (1·39 (range 1·22-1·47) mmol/l) mares. We conclude that the higher plasma acetate in overweight mares should be further investigated as a potential link between gut microbes and obesity in horses.
- All Faculty Deposits