Date of Graduation

Fall 2021


Master of Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Gary Webb


This study evaluated the in vitro effect on digestibility of forages when incubated with microbial inoculum formed from equine feces stored under varying conditions. Fecal material was stored at four storage conditions of 12˚C for 6 hours, 12˚C for 12 hours, 23˚C for 6 hours and 23˚C for 12 hours under aerobic conditions. Stored fecal material was used to form microbial inoculum for use in an ANKOM Daisy II Incubator. Nine different forage samples were digested in the ANKOM Daisy II Incubator to evaluate interactions between storage condition of microbial inoculum and chemical composition of digested forage samples. Forage samples chosen covered a wide range of crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) values to determine if forage quality had an effect. Dry matter digestibility (DMD) was determined after incubation. An ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used to analyze variation among storage conditions, forage samples, and replicates. Significant differences were observed among forages and replicates (P0.05) were observed among the interactions between storage conditions and forage samples. Results show fecal material stored at 12˚C or 23˚C for 6 or 12 hours provides no difference when used for the formation of microbial inoculum. Further research is needed to determine how the microbial population within a fecal sample change when exposed to aerobic conditions for varying amounts of temperature and time.


equine, in vitro digestion, microbial digestion, Daisy II incubator, fecal inoculum, forage digestion

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© Shianne K. Walther

Open Access

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Agriculture Commons