A study of the factors influencing the ability of the animal to digest its food
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The purpose of the digestion trials, to be discussed in this paper, was to determine the effect of various factors on the ability of the animal to digest its food. The object of these experiments is somewhat different from the great majority of digestion trail experiments. It was not the purpose of these digestion trials to determine the coefficient of digestibility of any particular feed or ration. The purpose of these digestion trials was to determine the coefficient of digestibility of the animal rather than that of the feed. The principal factors studied are the effect of age, the plane of nutrition, the condition of the animal, and the effect of gestation. Other minor factors will be taken into consideration and discussed. The animals used for the digestion trials were also being used in other experiments. The digestion trials were conducted partly to help answer the question of the specific experiment, and partly to answer questions regarding the digestive power of the animal under different conditions. The animals selected for use in digestion trials represented a variety of conditions and treatment. Two kinds of animals were used for these experiments - steers and swine (gilts). The principal factors studied with steers were the effect of the kind of ration, the effect of age, the effect of the plane of nutrition and condition of the animal. The principal factors studied in the experiment with gilts were the effect of gestation, lactation, and the condition of the animal. The ration fed the gilts was quite different from that fed to the steers, and taking everything into consideration it will be best to discuss each kind of animal separately, and then compare where necessary. By far the major portion, and the most important data, is from steers, and they, therefore, will be discussed first.
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