This study evaluated the effect of storage conditions of equine fecal material on the viability of microbial inoculum used for in vitro equine digestibility trials. Pooled fecal material from three mature Quarter Horse geldings was stored at 39 °C anaerobically for 15 min (control), while aerobic samples were stored at 22 °C for 6 h (SC1), 3 °C for 6 h (SC2), and -18 °C for 24 h (SC3). Following storage, the feces were utilized to prepare microbial inoculum for the digestion of six different forages using the Daisy II Incubator. After incubation, DM, NDF, and ADF compositions were determined and used to calculate DMD, NDFD, and ADFD. Analysis using the OLS regression model for differences in DMD, NDFD, and ADFD across the storage conditions found significant interactions between the forage sample and the storage condition ( < 0.05). The results between the control and SC1, SC2, and SC3 were not different ( < 0.8). Fecal material stored aerobically for six hours at 22 °C provided similar digestibility estimates compared to the control, while DMD decreased by 3.86% in SC2 and by 4.08% in SC3.


Animal Science

Document Type




Rights Information

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


digestibility, equine, in vitro, inoculum storage, microbial inoculum

Publication Date


Journal Title

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI