السبت 22 يونيو 2024

Study Shows Steaming Hay Can Lead to Protein Deficiency

موقع أيام نيوز

Hay can be treated with steam to reduce the horse’s exposure to inhaled allergens that cause respiratory disease. Steaming kills potentially harmful microorganisms and binds fungal spores and dust particles to the hay, making them less likely to be inhaled.  

However, new research shows that steam treatment can have an adverse effect on the digestibility of protein in the hay.  

A team of scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has discovered that steam treatment causes a chemical reaction that damages the proteins in the hay and makes them more difficult for horses to digest. This can lead to signs of nutrient deficiency in the animals and, for example, impair growth or muscle development. A report of the work is published in the journal Animals

Professor Annette Zeyner from the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at MLU explains: “Many horses suffer from lung problems such as equine asthma. The steaming process virtually eliminates all of the living microorganisms and particles in the hay that could be inhaled during feeding and damage the lungs. In theory, the end result is a very good forage."  

A high proportion of the proteins, and the crucial amino acids contained in them, can no longer be digested by the small intestine — in other words, the horse lacks these proteins as a result of the steam treatment. However, some of these protein components are essential for horses and they cannot be absorbed in the large intestine,” Zeyner continues.