Threonine nutrition in growing and mature horses: effect of diet composition on threonine requirements

Grants and Contracts Details


This (new investigator, strengthening) research proposal will address the USDA CSREES strategic goal to "enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of rural and farm economies" through the Foundation Program priority for "improved nutritional performance, growth and lactation of animals" (Program Area A1231). In order to formulate lower protein diets for horses that will reduce nitrogen excretion while still providing sufficient indispensable amino acids to optimize equine growth and performance, it is necessary to know the requirements for the amino acids most likely to be limiting in the diet. Although threonine has been identified as a limiting amino acid in horse diets, requirements have not been determined in horses of any age. Small intestinal endogenous losses are high in threonine; therefore, total dietary threonine requirements may be especially sensitive to diet composition. The proposed project will: (1) Establish the total dietary threonine requirements of yearling and mature horses; and (2) Determine how the proportion of forage in the diet affects total dietary threonine requirements in horses. It is hypothesized that horses receiving a predominantly forage diet will have higher total threonine requirements than those receiving approximately equal amounts of forage and concentrates. The indicator amino acid oxidation method, a technique that has been used extensively in other species, will be used to measure threonine requirements in yearling and mature horses receiving either predominantly forage or forage/concentrate diets. By determining the dietary threonine requirements of horses, we will obtain valuable information which will facilitate the development of lower protein diets for horses.
Effective start/end date7/1/126/30/16


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $460,000.00


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