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Increasing viscosity of digesta has detrimental effects on faecal consistency in sheep

Bath-Jacobson, C.L.ORCID: 0000-0001-9427-1941, Pluske, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-7194-2164, Bell, K. and Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 (2005) Increasing viscosity of digesta has detrimental effects on faecal consistency in sheep. In: 6th International Sheep Veterinary Congress, 17 - 21 June, Crete, Greece

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Although diarrhoea and faecal soiling of fleece are major problems for the sheep meat and wool industries, there is little information on the nutritional factors that determine faecal consistency in sheep. Research in monogastric species has shown that the soluble non-starch polysaccharide (sNSP) content of the diet is a major determinant of faecal consistency and susceptibility of animals to enteric diseases (2, 3), but there have been no studies on the role of sNSP in sheep. sNSP have profound effects on the physio-chemical conditions of the gut lumen by increasing viscosity of digesta and affecting microbial fermentation in the large intestine (2). Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) is a non-fermentable viscous-forming agent that has been used in pig diets to study the effect of sNSP of increasing digesta viscosity, independently of potential effects on fermentation (2).

This study aimed to investigate if CMC could be used as a model for studying the effect of increasing digesta viscosity in sheep and whether dietary CMC supplementation would have any detrimental effects on faecal consistency.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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