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Validation of the n-alkane technique for measuring herbage intake in sows

  • H. Wilson (a1), A.G. Sinclair (a2), F D DeB. Hovell (a1), R.W. Mayes (a3) and S.A. Edwards (a2)...

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N-alkanes are components of plant cuticular wax which have been successfully used as markers for the estimation of grass intake and digestibility in grazing ruminants (Dove and Mayes, 1991). Natural n-alkanes are predominately odd chain, and a known dose of an artificial even chain n-alkane (normally c32 or c36) is used to enable intake to be measured. Dietary n-alkanes may behave differently in the gastro-intestinal tract of ruminants and non-ruminants (Mayes et al, 1995). Therefore, in order to utilise this methodology in studies of outdoor pigs, this experiment was carried out to validate the faecal recovery of n-alkanes in this species. Since n-alkanes are soluble in lipid, which is often incorporated at high inclusion levels in pig diets, the experiment was also designed to determine whether n-alkane recovery is influenced by dietary lipid content.

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Dove, H. and Mayes, R.W. (1991) The use of plant wax alkanes as marker substances in studies of the nutrition of herbivores: A review. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 42, 913952.
Mayes, R.W., Dove, H., Chen, X.B. and Guada, J.A. (1995) Advances in the use of faecal and urinary markers for measuring diet composition, herbage intake and nutrient utilisation. Recent developments in the Nutrition of Herbivores. Proc IVth Symp. on the Nutrition of Herbivores. INRA, Paris. pp381406.

Validation of the n-alkane technique for measuring herbage intake in sows

  • H. Wilson (a1), A.G. Sinclair (a2), F D DeB. Hovell (a1), R.W. Mayes (a3) and S.A. Edwards (a2)...

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