A comparative faecal digestion trial with alpaca and sheep
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The objective in this study was to determine any differences in diet digestibility in alpacas and sheep. In order to compare the digestibility, the marker titan dioxide was used in the diet. Sheep and alpacas were fed restricted, based on maintenance necessity. By analysing feed rest and restricted feedings we excluded the possibility of food selection. We hypothesised that sheep do not differ from alpacas in digestive efficiencies in case of forage. Five alpacas and five sheep were selected by bodyweight. The results revealed no significant differences in diet digestibility between alpacas and sheep. Clearly, there are tremendous gaps in our knowledge of the alpaca physiology. Extrapolations of different species are often used to fill in the alpaca requirements. Further basic research is required in order to understand the effect of the anatomical en physiological differences between alpacas and sheep better.