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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2008 Dec;92(6):621-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2007.00758.x.

Effect of feed type and essential oil product on equine chewing activity.

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University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Science, Department of Animal- and Veterinary Basic Sciences, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


The ingestive and post-digestion effect of a blend of special essential oil compounds (EO) on eating, chewing and faecal parameters were measured in horses. Ingestive effects appear after no adaptation. Post-digestion effects appear after adaptation. Six Icelandic horses were assigned to two groups in a Latin Square subplot design with EO treatments to four different roughage types and four different concentrates. The horses were fed four different roughage meals and two different concentrate meals on each of the four sampling days. Eating time and saliva were observed during meals. Jaw movements (JM) were recorded using a special chewing halter. Eating time was derived from JM and related to DM intake. The size characteristics of faecal particles were measured by using image analysis. All chewing characteristics measured were significantly affected by roughage (p < 0.001) and concentrate type (p < 0.01). EO had a significant ingestive effect on the frequency of observed saliva during concentrate meals. No significant (p < 0.05) post-digestive or ingestive effect of EO was found for any measured chewing characteristic, which was reflected in the absence of effect on faecal particle dimensions. In conclusion, effect of type of roughage and concentrate was more significant than potential effects of EO.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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