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Reprod Nutr Dev. 1986;26(2B):683-90.

Relationship between nutrient intake, growth and body composition of the nursing foal.


The milk and nutrient intakes of 21 nursing foals of heavy breeds (adult weight: 800 kg) were determined at 1, 4 and 8 weeks of age. Lactose intake increased (P is less than 0.01) from 1 300 g/day at 1 week of age to 1 800 g/d at 8 weeks; fat decreased (P is less than 0.01) from 400 g/d to 300 g/d and protein did not vary (600 g/d). Energy and nitrogen intakes did not depend on the source of energy in the mother's diet. Milk, energy and nitrogen intakes were well related (r = 0.74 to 0.81) with foal growth between 1 and 4 weeks, but not between 4 and 8 weeks. The composition of weight gain showed a greater deposition of protein than of lipids until 8 weeks. Lipid and protein contents in empty body weight were 5.3 and 19.2%, respectively, at 1 week and 9.0 and 19.9% at 8 weeks.

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