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Type of publication: Baccalaureate Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2011

Authors: Ausraite, Aiste

Title: Protein and amino acid requirement in equine nutrition.

Other title: Literaturübersicht zum Thema Eiweiß- und Aminosäurenbedarf von Pferden

Source: Bakkalaureatsarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 37.


Iben Christine

Van Den Hoven Rene

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Graduation date: 06.06.11

The purpose of this study was to characterise the protein and amino acid requirements for horses in maintenance, reproduction, lactation, growth and exercise with the help of a literature review. The protein and amino acid requirements of lactating mares, growing or exercising horses are presumed to be higher than those of the horses in maintenance. It is not known if reproductive efficiency could be increased by protein quality or quantity in the ration of the mares or stallions. Lysine and threonine are the first two limiting amino acids. It is assumed that increased supply with these amino acids could, in many cases, decrease the quantity of protein needed. It would result in the decrease of contamination of the pasture with nitrogen and help avoid extreme growth rates followed by development disorders of growing horses. The requirement of the essential amino acids in equine feed must be studied more carefully. Different studies come to controversial results when researching protein and amino acid requirements in exercising and working horses. Extended needs arise when muscles are built and repaired, and because of nitrogen loss over the sweat. It is likely that increased requirements of proteins are automatically being covered with the increased food supply adapted to the increased energy requirements. Some studies suggest that supplementation with the limiting amino acids might contribute to energy metabolism during long-lasting exercise. Researching the optimal quality and quantity of protein and amino acids has not succeeded yet. Measurement of the nitrogen excretion seems to be the main problem. There is no common method to distinguish the endogenous and microbal nitrogen from the undigested feed protein left after protein turnover when excreted. Protein foregut digestibility and absorption in the large intestine need to be researched more carefully.

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