Using 15 D Treatment Periods

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A 3×3 Latin square design with 15 d treatment periods was used in this study. Probiotic 2, from the previous experiment, was chosen because the concentrations of SBEC and E. coli K12 concentrations were lower when compared to probiotic 1 and 3. A second reason that probiotic 2 was chosen was because, at an economic standpoint, probiotic 2 is more cost-efficient than probiotic 1 and 3. The three treatments used in this study were defined as: no supplement (CON), recommended dose (REC), and two times the recommended dose (2xREC). Periods consisted of 15 days, with a 5 d acclimation period (Weese et al., 2003) and a withdrawal period of 10 days. On d 1 of each period, pasture and grass hay samples were collected and frozen for proximate analysis. On d 1 and 5 of each period, blood from the jugular vein and cecal samples, prior to morning feeding, were collected. Immediately after collection, the pH of cecal sample was recorded with an Oakton pH 110 Advanced Portable Meter (Vernon Hills, IL). Samples were aliquoted into one, 15 mL collection tube and frozen until further bacterial analysis. On d 5, blood was collected in the same manner as d 1. Beginning at 0600, cecal fluid was collected from each horse at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 h, in order to represent a full 24 h day. Cecal pH was recorded after every collection with an Oakton pH 110 Advanced Portable Meter (Vernon Hills, IL). At h 0, samples were aliquoted into three, 15 mL conical tubes for bacterial, VFA, and NH3
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