The large intestine of horses and other hindgut fermenters is a fermentation system analagous to the rumen. The process of fermentation that occurs in the hindgut is essentially identical to that which occurs in the forestomachs of ruminants.
Where does hindgut fermentation occur?
Hindgut fermentation is a digestive process seen in monogastric herbivores, animals with a simple, single-chambered stomach. Cellulose is digested with the aid of symbiotic bacteria. The microbial fermentation occurs in the digestive organs that follow the small intestine: the large intestine and cecum.
In what part of the horse digestive system does fermentation and production of VFA’s occur?
The end products of starch fermentation in the large intestine are volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and lactic acid. In contrast to starch, plant fiber is digested entirely by fermentation, which results in the production of VFAs. Fermentation of plant fiber occurs in the hindgut of the horse.
What is the hindgut of a horse?
The horse’s hindgut—or large intestine, which includes the cecum and colon—is essential to the function of the horse’s overall digestive system and is important for bacterial content. When feed is processed in the horse’s digestive system, it is fermented and digested by bacteria in the hindgut.
Where does enzymatic digestion occur in horses?
Ruminants (cattle, sheep and deer) use bacteria in the fore stomachs to digest fiber by fermentation and use enzymatic digestion in the small intestines. In the horse, all true digestion is by enzymatic digestion and takes place in the fore gut ahead of the cecum.
Where does fermentation occur in foregut fermenters?
The gastrointestinal system of the hoatzin is therefore composed of a large muscular crop where active foregut fermentation occurs (Grajal et al., 1989) divided in two chambers and a posterior esophagus where additional fermentation occurs. A long small intestine allows autoenzymatic digestion in this species.
Where does foregut fermentation occur?
Foregut fermentation is a form of digestion that occurs in the foregut of some animals. It has evolved independently in several groups of mammals, and also in the hoatzin bird. Foregut fermentation is employed by ruminants and pseudoruminants, some rodents and some marsupials.
What is fermentation horses?
The horse is a hindgut fermenter, meaning that the large intestine is the site of fermentation of ingested fiber. This is in contrast to ruminants, such as cattle, goats, and sheep, that are foregut fermenters with a rumen and multicompartment stomach.
Where in the horse digestive tract is cellulose digested?
The cecum is a large organ within the digestive tract that houses microorganisms. These microorganisms break down the fiber and cellulose the horse consumes and converts the cellulose into additional nutrients and energy that the horse needs to survive.
What does the cecum do in horses?
The equine cecum serves as a storage site for water and electrolytes. Fiber consumption can increase water consumption, and the extra water is held in the cecum until absorption. The additional water adds some weight to your horse, but it helps replace crucial electrolytes lost from heavy sweating.
What is the function of saliva in the horse?
Like humans, horses produce saliva primarily to moisten and soften food, which in turn eases its passage from the mouth through the esophagus and into the stomach.
Where does microbial digestion occur?
The pepsins carry out the initial digestion of microbial and dietary protein in the abomasum. From the abomasum the digested food moves to the small intestine. Secretions of bile, with a very high pH, change the digesta from acidic to alkaline, allowing digestion of different feed nutrients.
Where is the jejunum?
The middle part of the small intestine. It is between the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) and the ileum (last part of the small intestine).
Where does microbial digestion occur in horses?
The horse is unique in that most of the digestion of their feed occurs in the hindgut through the process of fermentation with the help of billions of naturally occurring bacteria and protozoa (together known as microbes). The cecum and large colon are similar to the rumen and reticulum of the cow and sheep.
How does fermentation differ between horses and cattle?
The site of fermentation varies in alloenzymatic digesters. For example, cattle and sheep are foregut fermenters, while horses and rabbits are hindgut fermenters.
Where does water reabsorption occur in horses?
This means that in an average 1,000-lb (450-kg) horse, about 125 L of water passes through the digestive tract each day. Most of this water is reabsorbed within the large colon. Approximately 85 L is absorbed from the cecum and an additional 22 L within the small colon, with the remainder being lost in the feces.