Wet chemistry is a more appropriate analysis technique to use for soaked hays or forages that are not conserved grass such as straw. Some tests including WSC, starch and minerals are only available using wet chemistry. Unlike NIR, wet chemistry is a longer analytical process requiring a larger amount of equipment and chemicals and therefore is more costly.
Wet chemistry basic analysis reports the following parameters: –
Dry Matter – This gives an indication of how much moisture in the forage. This value is useful to tell us how well a forage is likely to store and is also important to allow us to calculate how much to feed as fed to ensure the horse is supplied with enough forage on a dry matter basis.
Crude Protein – This describes the total amount of protein present in the forage but doesn’t tell us about the quality of the protein in terms of the amino acid profile. Low protein forages may need additional protein in the diet to balance them.
Oil – This describes the total amount of oil present in the forage and is typically low.
Ash – This refers to the mineral content of the forage. The term ash originates from the fact that minerals don’t contain carbon and so don’t burn. They are what is left when the carbon containing nutrients such as carbohydrates are burnt off. The higher the ash value the more minerals the forage contains, and very high levels may indicate soil contamination in the sample. For a more detailed analysis of the minerals contained within your forage see Mineral Analysis.
NDF– This refers to the fibre content of the hay. It includes the lignin, cellulose and hemi-cellulose which are increasingly more digestible.
ADF – This is another measure of fibre but measures the less digestible cellulose and lignin. The difference between the NDF and ADF values is the hemicellulose content. A high ADF value indicates a less digestible forage more suited to good do-ers.
DE – This is a measure of the digestible energy value of the forage an tells us how much energy or ‘calories’ a forage will supply. For performance horses and those that don’t hold their weight well we are looking for a higher DE and for leisure horses and good do-ers a low DE.
Special Offer – Save £25 when you purchase the full Wet Chemistry Analysis set (Basic, WSC and Starch) with Mineral Analysis – discount automatically applied at checkout
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