Effect of protein source in liquid formula diets on food intake, physiologic values, and growth of equine neonates.

C. A. Buffington, D. A. Knight, C. W. Kohn, John E Madigan, P. A. Scaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effects of 2 liquid formula diets differing in protein source were evaluated in orphan foals. The response of 7 foals fed a diet containing casein as the protein source, and 6 foals fed a diet containing a combination of whey and casein, was compared with the response in a reference group of 8 mare-raised foals. Orphaned foals were fed 150 kcal/kg of body weight/d, divided into 6 equal feedings of 25 kcal/kg. Formula intake was comparable among the experimental groups, and foals fed the liquid formula diet grew as well as mare-raised foals. There was no difference among groups in mean daily body weight gain, wither height, heart girth, body temperature, pulse, respiration rate, capillary refill time, or skin tenting. Insulin and blood glucose concentrations increased in both groups of foals fed formula diets, returning to prefeeding values within 4 hours. Differences among groups were found for serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, cholesterol, creatinine, and glucose values; all other serum chemical values were comparable among groups. Plasma amino acid determinations revealed that arginine and ornithine were significantly lower in foals in both experimental groups than in reference foals, suggesting that arginine may have been the limiting amino acid in these diets. Diarrhea developed in foals in all treatment groups, but in most cases was self-limiting. These results suggest that the protein source of liquid formula diets may be less important in foals than in infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1946
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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