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1

What are some examples of fibre?

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

2

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.

3

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

4

In what ways can fibre be measured?

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

5

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

6

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).

7

Define the TCA CYCLE

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

8

Define ATP

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

9

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

10

What should fibre/roughage be assessed on?

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

11

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.

12

How much ATP does each VFA produce?

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