Nutritive value of unconventional fibrous ingredients fed to Guinea pigs in the Democratic Republic of Congo
ABSTRACT The energy and protein value for Guinea pigs (GP) of 9 forages (7 dicots and 2 grasses) and 5 hay-based diets was determined.
The apparent faecal digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein and energy was measured on GP housed in metabolic
cages. The forages and the diets were digested in vitro using pepsin and pancreatin hydrolysis and gas fermentation test to simulate stomach, small intestine and large intestine,
respectively. Most of the dicots had high digestible crude protein content (152–201g/kg DM) and the 2 grasses showed lower
values (80–85g/kg DM). Digestible energy content of the forages ranged between 5.79 to 13.08MJ/kg DM. None of the forage
species or hay-based diets provided sufficient energy to supply the 11.7MJ/kg metabolic energy requirements. The influence
of intestinal fermentation on energy and protein values was highlighted by correlations (P<0.05) between in vivo and in vitro data, including gas fermentation. It is the first time that such relationships are reported in single-stomach animals.