Postprandial kinetics of some biotic and abiotic characteristics of the gastric ecosystem of horses fed a pelleted concentrate meal. Academic Article uri icon


  • Our knowledge of the microflora of the stomach of the horse is still limited, although some data indicate its important role in nutrition. The objective of this experiment was to investigate the microbial and biochemical profiles in the stomach of the horse and to quantify the disappearance of dietary starch. Total anaerobic bacteria, lactate-utilizing bacteria, lactobacilli, and streptococci were determined, and biochemical characteristics (pH, and DM, D- and L-lactate, D-glucose, NH3, and VFA concentrations) were measured in chyme collected from 4 horses by naso-gastric intubation aided by endoscopy, at 30 min before and 60, 120, and 210 min after the meal. The total anaerobic population exhibited a linear increase (5.54 to 6.98 log10 cfu/mL; P = 0.018) within the first postprandial hour and reached 8.32 log10 cfu/mL at 210 min after the meal. The concentrations of lactobacilli, streptococci, and lactate-utilizing bacteria in the stomach contents were 5.52, 4.82, and 6.95 log10 cfu/mL, respectively. Lactate concentration increased linearly from 0.25 mmol/L before the meal to 7.98 mmol/L at the last collection point (P = 0.013). This increase was mostly due to L-lactate accumulation. The VFA concentration increased linearly (P = 0.002) during the postprandial period from 1.96 to 8.17 mmol/L. Acetate represented, on average, 78 mol/100 mol of total VFA. The average concentration of NH3 in the stomach content was 2.48 mmol/L. Dietary starch disappearance did not respond during the post-prandial period and was not consistent with previous findings. These in vivo data provide complementary information on the postprandial microbial and biochemical kinetics in the stomachs of horses and confirm its abundant microbial colonization.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Varloud, M., Fonty, G., Roussel, A., Guyonvarch, A., & Julliand, V.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Varloud, M||Fonty, G||Roussel, A||Guyonvarch, A||Julliand, V

publication date

  • October 2007