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What are some examples of fibre?

Sugar beet, grass pellets, alfalfa, hay, grass, haylege, oat feed, wheat feed, nutritionally improved straw.


Define FIBRE

Fibre is a dietry material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin and pectin that are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes. It is comprised of beta glucose and is a structural carbohydrate.


What are cell walls composed of?

- the middle lamella contains pectins
- the primary cell walls contain cellulose and hemicelluose
- the secondary cell wall contains lignin, which is matured cellulose. Once it has matured, it is harder to break down - older grass (hay) is harder to digest


In what ways can fibre be measured?

- crude fibre analysis
- neutral detergent fibre
- acid detergent fibre (should have a low ADF)


What other nutrients are found in forages?

- proteins (found in cell walls). As the plant ages, the protein content decreases
- fat (very small amount). Amount decreases with age
- minerals
- vitamins


In what ways can the nutritive value of fibre be altered?

As the plant ages, the nutritive value of the plant decreases (more lignin and less protein).


Define the TCA CYCLE

The TCA cycle is a series of chemical reactions used to release stored energy.


Define ATP

Adenosine triphosphate. It is a nucleotide that can store and transport energy within cells.


How is the consumption of fibre linked to the horse's health?

- fibre consumption is key to a horse's health
- should consume a minimum of 1%/LW of fibre per day, with 2% being normal
- essential for digestive health - chewing, saliva production etc.
- in the wild they would be eating for up to 14 hours a day


What should fibre/roughage be assessed on?

- nutrient content
- digestibility
- anti-nutritional factors
- palatability
- storage quality


What are the percentage of fibre turned to VFAs in the hindgut?

70% becomes acetate, 20% becomes propionate, 10% becomes butyrate. These are metabolised in the TCA cycle.


How much ATP does each VFA produce?

Acetate - 10 ATP
Propionate - 17 ATP
Butyrate - 25 ATP