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Soybean Hulls in Equine Feed Concentrates: Apparent Nutrient Digestibility, Physicochemical and Microbial Characteristics of Equine Feces

Kabe, Assuka Marina Godoy, de Souza, Aline Duarte, de Moro Sousa, Ricardo Luiz, da Silva Bueno, Ives Cláudio, Mota, Thais Pagotti, Crandell, Kathleen, Vervuert, Ingrid, Correa, Graziani Ferrer, Brandi, Roberta Ariboni
Journal of equine veterinary science 2016 v.36 pp. 77-82
Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, buffering capacity, digestibility, energy, experimental diets, feces, feed concentrates, hay, mares, microorganisms, nutrients, pH, short chain fatty acids, soybean hulls
The aim of this study was to evaluate the soybean hulls inclusion in concentrates for horses as an alternative fiber source, through the apparent digestibility of nutrients and physicochemical characteristics of the feces. Five mares (3.5 ± 0.8 year old; 492.5 ± 44.5 kg) were used in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. Experimental diets were formulated for animals at maintenance and were composed of 60% energy from forage (Coastcross hay) and 40% from a concentrate, with increasing levels of soybean hulls (0, 7, 14, 21, and 28%). The inclusion of soybean hulls at any level in the concentrate had no effect (P > .05) on the following parameters: apparent digestibility coefficients of nutrients in the diet; feces pH, buffering capacity (BC) to pH 5 (BC 5) and to pH 6 (BC six), and ratios of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as well as Streptococcus spp. and Lactobacillus spp. Diets with up to 28% soybean hulls in the concentrate can be used as equine feed without negatively affecting digestibility, the SCFAs concentrations or selected microbiota, and physicochemical characteristics in the feces.