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J Anim Sci. 2005 May;83(5):1033-43.

Influence of starch intake on growth and skeletal development of weanling horses.

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1
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611-0910, USA. ott@animal.ufl.edu

Abstract

Forty-four weanling horses were used in two experiments to evaluate the effect of starch intake on growth and skeletal development. In Exp. 1, the weanlings were fed either a grain-based, high-starch (31.1%, DM basis) concentrate or a by-product-based, low-starch (0.0%) concentrate with coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) hay. Corn oil was used to equalize the energy concentration of the concentrates. The concentrate:hay ratio was 64:36 (as-fed basis), and intake was the same for both diets. Body weight gains were greater by the weanlings consuming the high-starch concentrate (0.81 vs. 0.67 kg/d; P = 0.01). Total body length gain also was greater for the weanlings consuming the high-starch concentrate (15.5 vs. 13.2 cm; P = 0.045). Other body measurements and bone mineral deposition were not influenced by diet or gender. At the end of the experiment, postprandial blood glucose concentrations suggested that the horses on the low-starch diet were less efficient in metabolizing blood glucose than were those that had been consuming the high-starch diets. In Exp. 2, the weanlings were fed either a high-starch (34.7%) or medium-starch (17.0%) concentrate plus coastal bermudagrass hay. Corn oil again was used to equalize the energy content of the medium-starch concentrate to that of the high-starch concentrate. The concentrate:hay ratio was 64:36 (as-fed basis), and the intake was the same for both diets. The diets did not influence rate of gain (0.75 kg/d; P = 0.98), body measurements (P = 0.11 to 0.93), or bone mineral deposition (P = 0.66). Animals on the medium-starch diet tended to have blood glucose concentrations that peaked earlier and were lower at later times than those consuming the high-starch concentrate. Bone osteochondrotic lesions were not related to the diet and were found to decrease during the course of the experiment for both the high-starch and the medium-starch diets (P = 0.006 and 0.016, respectively).

PMID:
15827248
DOI:
10.2527/2005.8351033x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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