- Volume 4 Issue 1
Diurnal variation in faecal chromic oxide levels was estimated from 4 hourly faecal sampling of 56 wethers allotted to one of six different feeding patterns. Sampling occurred on days 6 and 7 (Period 1) after a controlled release device was administered, and was repeated on days 14 and 15 (Period 2) following re-randomisation of the wethers to the feeding patterns. Increasing the frequency of feeding tended to be associated with higher faecal chromic oxide levels (p < 0.05), particularly in wethers fed thrice daily at 8 hour intervals. There was no interaction between feeding pattern and period, sampling day or time within-day. There were significant period x time within-day (p < 0.05) and day x time within-day (p < 0.001) interactions, indicating that variation in faecal chromic oxide between sample times was not consistent. This implies that sampling at any time of day is unlikely to result in a biased estimate of pasture intake, providing sufficient samples are collected. Significant period (p < 0.001) and period x day (p < 0.01) effects were associated with slow faecal chromic oxide equilibration in period 1. Equilibration did not occur until after day 7, indicating a need for caution when commencing sampling.
Feeding Pattern;Chromic Oxide;Faecal Output;Sheep