Effect of diet on physical properties of sheep feces

TitleEffect of diet on physical properties of sheep feces
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsAnderson D.M., Havstad K, Smith J.N., Murray L.W.
Conference NameAnnual Meeting, Society for Range Management
Date Published1993
Abstract

Sheep feces’ physical properties were evaluated from two animals fed 100% tobosa [Hilariamutica (Buckl.) Benth.] diets (HM) and two animals fed 70% tobosa plus 30% tarbush (Flourensiacernua D.C.) leaf diets (HM + FC). Preliminary data are presented from a randomized block design involving mature, ruminally cannulated wethers fed daily at 0700 and 1600 h and housed in metabolism facilities with ad libitum access to water and mineral blocks. Fecal samples were obtained from the rectum at 0700 h on days 31, 32 and 33 of the trial and immediately frozen at 0° C. Feces subsampled by day (5 pellets/animal) from two wethers per diet were thawed at room temperature and oven dried at 60° C. Water uptake of individual fecal pellets under vacuum was measured followed by dispersion of individual pellets in distilled water to determine particle size composition in a closed cascade system of soil sieves with an in-line filter. Effluent pH and conductance was determined. Means polled across pellets, days and animals with standard errors were calculated. Fecal pellet water uptake and pH for the HM diet was 248% +/- 1.53 and 7.67 +/-0.03 compared to 223% +/- 1.60 and 7.77 +/- 0.02 for the HM + FC diet, respectively. Effluent conductance (mv) for the HM and HM + FC diets was 25.3 +/- 1.51 and -31.2 +/- 1.23, respectively. Based on the mass of five size fractions equalling 100% of the mass separated, 0.9 +/- 0.22, 8.3 +/- 0.43, 25.5 +/- 0.36, 22.9 +/- 0.37 and 42.3 +/- 0.75 percent of the fecal particles were retained on the 1.18, 0.60, 0.30, 0.150 and Whatman No. 4 sieves/filter, respectively, over both diets. Overall, the mass of 56 intact pellets compared to the mass resulting from summing the five particle size fractions resulted in a 12.2 +/- 1.1% loss of material.