Dietary Glossary

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Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF): Acid Detergent Fiber, is used as a measure of the fiber concentration of the hay as a percentage of highly indigestible plant material contained in a feed or forage. The lower the ADF the more digestible a feed is to the animal. As ADF increases, digestibility and nutrient availability decreases.
Adjusted Crude Protein (ACP): The amount of protein available to the animal contained within the feedstuffs (Digesta). It is an adjustment to crude protein based on the amount of unavailable protein or Insoluble Crude Protein (ICP). In most nutrient analysis reports, when ACP is greater than 10% of CP, the adjusted value is reported. This value should be used in formulating rations when ICP:CP is greater than 0.1.
Annual Cool-Season Forage Types: wheat, rye, annual bluegrass (annual meadow grass, Poa annua), and oat grass
Annual Plant: An Annual Plant is a plant that lives for no more than one year.
Annual Warm-Season Forage Types: maize, sudan grass, and pearl millet
Calorie (Capital C): The amount of energy it takes to raise one kilogram (1,000 grams) of water one degree Celsius.  The Calorie is also called a kilocalorie. This is the rate of measurement used in human nutrition.  Many times it is not spelled correctly - with a capital 'C".
calorie (Small c): The amount of energy it takes to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Crude Protein (CP): This is a measure of the protein concentration of the hay and can range from 6 percent to 8 percent in native grass hays to about 15 percent or higher in high quality legume hays.
Crude Protein (CP): Total protein equivalent including nitrogen from both protein and non-protein sources. Crude protein measures the nitrogen content of a feedstuffs, including both true protein and non-protein nitrogen.
Degradable Intake Protein (DIP):  The fraction of the crude protein which is degradable in the rumen and provide nitrogen for rumen microorganisms to synthesize bacterial crude protein (BCP) which is protein supplied to the animal by rumen microbes. DIP also includes non-protein nitrogen found in feeds or ingredients.
Digesta: Digesta is something undergoing digestion (as food in the stomach)
Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes facilitate the chemical breakdown of food into smaller, absorbable components. Enzymes called amylases break down carbohydrates into sugar molecules; proteases break down proteins into amino acids; and lipases break down fat into its component parts.
Digestible Dry Matter (DDM): An estimate of the percentage of the feed or forage that is digestible, Based on feeding trials with animals and is determined from ADF concentration and can be used as an estimate of energy value in ration balancing.
Digestible Energy (DE): This is a measure of the digestible energy in the hay. For a light-working horse, DE should be 20.5 Mca / day. Hay may have .76 to .94 Mcal / pounds or higher of DE.
Digestible Protein (DP):  Reported by some laboratories, do not use without the guidance of a nutritionist. Digestible protein values are not needed for most ration formulation because nutrient requirements and most formulation tools are already adjusted for protein digestibility. Furthermore, protein digestibility is influenced by external factors.
Digestible Protein Estimate: An estimate of the amount of protein digested and absorbed by the animal.
Dry Matter (DM):  Dry matter is the moisture-free content of the sample. Because moisture dilutes the concentration of nutrients but does not have a major influence on intake (aside from severe deprivation), it is important to always balance and evaluate rations on a dry-matter basis. Feed which is free of moisture or 100% DM. Feeds are expressed on a DM basis due to the large variation in moisture.
Dry Matter Intake (DMI): Is an estimate of the relative amount of forage an animal will eat with only forage fed. DMI is based on feeding trials and NDF concentration.
Ether Extract (EE): A method of measurement for converting consumables into useable energy. The crude fat content of a feedstuffs. Fat is an energy source with 2.25 times the energy density of carbohydrates.
Fructan (Noun): A type of polymer of fructose, a form of sugar. Fractans (Sugar) are specially adapted sugars that are found in cool season forages such as cool season grasses (Spring and Fall) when the conditions of moisture, temperature and sunlight allow grasses to maximize their production of Fractans. This increase of Fractan (Sugar) production can be problematic, for horses, in the spring and fall during pasture grass changes, can be overwhelming to the un-adapted digestive system of horses, causing both colic and laminititus. This condition exists for both the grasses and the hay cut from those grasses.
Hay: Hay is all forage types; grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing animals such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Pigs may be fed hay, but they do not digest it as efficiently as more fully herbivorous animals.
Heat Damaged Protein also Insoluble Crude Protein (ICP):  Nitrogen that has become chemically linked to carbohydrates and thus does not contribute to either DIP or UIP supply. This linkage is mainly due to overheating when hay is baled or stacked with greater than 20% moisture, or when silage is harvested at less than 65% moisture. Feedstuffs with high ICP are often discolored and have distinctly sweet odors in many cases. When the ratio of ICP:CP is 0.1 or greater, meaning more than 10% of the CP unavailable, the crude protein value is adjusted. Adjusted crude protein (ACP; see below) values should be used for ration formulation.
Ingesta: Substances taken into the body as nourishment; food and drink.
Kilocalorie (kcal): An energy measurement unit equal to 1,000 calories. The term is used to represent the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a liter of water one degree centigrade at sea level. In nutrition terms, and calorie is commonly used to refer to a unit of food energy.
Insoluble Crude Protein (ICP):  Nitrogen that has become chemically linked to carbohydrates and thus does not contribute to either DIP or UIP supply. This linkage is mainly due to overheating when hay is baled or stacked with greater than 20% moisture, or when silage is harvested at less than 65% moisture. Feedstuffs with high ICP are often discolored and have distinctly sweet odors in many cases. When the ratio of ICP:CP is 0.1 or greater, meaning more than 10% of the CP unavailable, the crude protein value is adjusted. Adjusted crude protein (ACP; see below) values should be used for ration formulation.
Legume: A legume is a plant that has its seeds in a pod, such as the bean or pea. Two popular types of legumes used as horse forage are alfalfa and clover.
Lignin: A biologically unavailable mixture of polymers of phenolic acid. Lignin is a major structural component of mature plants and trees.
Macro Minerals: Minerals required in greater quantities and are present in animal tissue at higher levels. These include phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium and chlorine.
Megacalorie (mcal):  An energy measurement unit equal 1,000 kilocalories.  Megacalorie is the rate of measurement used to measure energy in a large animal's diet, such as the horse.
Metabolizable Protein (MP):  MP is protein that is available to the animal including microbial protein (BCP) synthesized by the rumen microorganisms and UIP.
Net Energy (NE): A method of measurement for converting consumables into useable energy. Mainly referred to as net energy for maintenance (NEm), net energy for gain (NEg), and net energy for lactation (NEl). The net energy system separates the energy requirements into their fractional components used for tissue maintenance, tissue gain, and lactation. Accurate use of the NE system relies on careful prediction of feed intake. In general, NEg overestimates the energy value of concentrates relative to roughages.
Net Energy for Gain (NEG): An estimate of the energy of feed available for the deposition of body tissue in non-lactating animals (the term "non-lactating animals" refers to growing males and females, and mature bulls).
Net Energy for Maintenance (NEM): An estimate of the energy of feed available for the maintenance of non-lactating animals (See NEG for term non-lactating animals).
Net Energy of Lactation (NEL): An estimate of the energy in feed available for body maintenance and milk secretion.
Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF): The percentage of cell wall material or plant structure in a feed. The lower the NDF percentage, the more an animal will eat. NDF includes acid detergent fiber and is inversely related to intake, therefore, a low percentage of NDF is desirable.
Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF): This is a measure of the plant’s cell wall content, shown as a percent. The higher this is, the less hay the horse will eat.
Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC): This is a measure of the non-structural carbohydrates in the feed. If your horse has Cushing’s disease or is prone to colic or laminitis, you want to select hay with a lower NSC value. Timothy and alfalfa hay may have a 15 percent or 20 percent NSC value, respectively. If you want this analysis done, you should check to see if the lab offers it, as it is not a common analysis at this time.
Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC): NSC is a combination of both starch and fructan which are produced through photosynthesis, a process in which plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to make sugar based products. Starch, comprised of a string of glucose molecules, is the primary energy source in most species of grasses, but some popular pasture plants also produce fructan, which consists of fructose and glucose. NSC, is used as a measure of the non-structural carbohydrates in the feed. If your horse has Cushing’s disease or is prone to colic or laminitis, you want to select hay with a lower NSC value. Timothy and alfalfa hay may have a 15 percent or 20 percent NSC value, respectively. If you want this analysis done, you should check to see if the lab offers it, as it is not a common analysis at this time.
Perennial Cool-Season Forage Types: orchardgrass (cocksfoot, Dactylis glomerata), fescue (Festuca spp.), Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne).
Perennial Plant: A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years.
Perennial Warm-Season Forage Types: big bluestem, Indian grass, Bermudagrass and switchgrass.
Peristalsis: Peristalsis is the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal, creating wavelike movements that push the contents of the canal forward.
Relative Feed Value (RFV): A measure of feed value compared to full bloom pure alfalfa where 100 is equal to full bloom alfalfa. An RFV above 100 is better quality forage than an RFV below 100.
Relative Feed Value (RFV): (A method of measurement for converting consumables into useable energy)    A prediction of feeding value that combines estimated intake (NDF) and estimated digestibility (ADF) into a single index. RFV is used to evaluate legume hay. RFV is often used as a benchmark of quality when buying or selling alfalfa hay. RFV is not used for ration formulation.
Relative Forage Quality (RFQ): (A method of measurement for converting consumables into useable energy)   Like RFV, RFQ combines predicted intake (NDF) and digestibility (ADF). However, RFQ differs from RFV because it is based on estimates of forage intake and digestibility determined by incubating the feedstuffs with rumen microorganisms in a simulated digestion. Therefore, it is a more accurate predictor of forage value than RFV. Neither RFV nor RFQ are used in ration formulation.
Ruminant: A ruminant is an even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprise the cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives.
Salvia: Horses will produce between 6 to 32 gallons (20-80 liters) of saliva per day. Equine salvia contains bicarbonate which buffers and protects amino acids in the highly acidic stomach. Equine saliva also contains small amounts of amylase which assist with carbohydrate digestion
Starch and Sugar: This is a measure of sugars and starches in the feed. You should feed no more than 15 percent of total daily calories from starch and sugar to horses with EPSM (equine polysaccharide storage myopathy) and PSSM (polysaccharide storage myopathy).  EPSM is a muscle disease found in over 100 draft breeds that may cause severe weakness and muscle wasting in horses of all ages, poor performance, abnormal hind limb gaits and shivers, in which the muscles keep twitching. PSSM is a muscle disease found in horses with Quarter Horse in their breeding, such as American Quarter Horses, Paints and Appaloosas. Symptoms include reluctance to move, muscle stiffness, sweating, shifting lameness and tremors in the flank area.
Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN): A method of measurement for converting consumables into useable energy. It Measures the sum of the digestible protein, digestible nitrogen free extract, digestible crude fiber and the digestible fat. TDN accounts for the fecal loss of digestion and to a large extent the urinary energy loss. TDN may be used in place of DE or offered in addition to DE. It may range from 40 to 55 percent. TDN values tend to under predict the feeding value of concentrate relative to forage.
Unavailable Protein (Heat Damage): Bound protein in the fiber of feed material. Normally about 1% protein (on a DM basis) is found. Values >1% indicate heat damage.
Undegradable Intake Protein (UIP):  The rumen-undegradable portion of an animals crude protein intake. Commonly called "bypass protein" because it bypasses rumen breakdown and is mainly digested in the small intestine. Bypass protein is utilized directly by the animal because it is absorbed as small proteins and amino acids.
Ungulates:   Any of a large group of mammals all of which have hooves: divided into odd-toed ungulates (perissodactyls) and even-toed ungulates (artiodactyls)

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