Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2017
The in sacco technique (e.g. Ørskov et al., 1980) remains the methodology with which the majority of rumen degradability estimates are made. However ethical, animal welfare and cost issues regarding the use of surgically modified animals plus the relatively slow rate at which samples can be examined (two samples per week using three sheep) have combined to compel researchers into developing alternative techniques. Precise, high capacity in vitro systems now exist. However the feed industry is unwilling to adopt these “new” values, partly due to having spent considerable time and effort creating databases of in sacco values which can be used directly in current feed evaluation systems. This paper describes modifications to an in vitro system that provides values similar to that obtained in sacco.
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