Growth and calcium metabolism in horses fed varying levels of protein.


Journal Article

The effect of level of protein intake on growth and calcium metabolism was studied in 24 foals. Starting at four months old, the foals were fed one of three diets containing all nutrients, with the exception of protein, at levels recommended by the United States National Research Council Subcommittee on Horse Nutrition for a 12 month period. The protein levels in the three diets were 9 per cent (low protein) 14 per cent (NRC recommended level) and 20 per cent (high protein). The foals fed the low protein diet were changed to the high protein diet after 140 days when they were nine months old. There were no significant differences in the rates of growth in weight, height, cannon circumference or in hoof growth and feed utilisation of the horses fed the 14 or the 20 per cent protein diets. However, growth, feed intake and feed utilisation by the foals fed the low (9 per cent) protein diet were significantly depressed. The average daily gains for the first 140 days for the 9, 14 and 20 per cent protein treatment groups were 64, 631 and 687 g in weight, 0.57, 0.83 and 0.87 mm in height and 0.04, 0.13 and 0.14 m in forecannon circumference, respectively. The average daily feed intakes for the 140 day period for the three groups were 2.7, 4.4 and 4.7 kg, respectively. After the change to the high protein diet the foals that had been fed the low protein diet maintained a higher rate of gain in bodyweight, height and cannon circumference, and utilised feed more efficiently than the other two groups throughout the second 140 days of the experiment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Schryver, HF; Meakim, DW; Lowe, JE; Williams, J; Soderholm, LV; Hintz, HF

Published Date

  • July 1, 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 280 - 287

PubMed ID

  • 3622456

Pubmed Central ID

  • 3622456

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2042-3306

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0425-1644

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.2042-3306.1987.tb01410.x


  • eng