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Given the complexity of evaluating intake on grazing, some compounds have been studied to promote qualitative and quantitative estimates of animal physiology. In this sense, the technique using n-alkanes as a marker has been used in several animal species, especially in grazing ruminants (Dove and Mayes 1996). By definition, validation under grazing or browsing conditions is not possible, because actual intakes are unknown (Dove and Mayes 2005). Thus, the aim of the study was to evaluate the methodology of n-alkanes to estimate herbage intake by sheep in metabolic cages.

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Use of N-Alkane Technique to Estimate Sheep Dry Matter Intake

Given the complexity of evaluating intake on grazing, some compounds have been studied to promote qualitative and quantitative estimates of animal physiology. In this sense, the technique using n-alkanes as a marker has been used in several animal species, especially in grazing ruminants (Dove and Mayes 1996). By definition, validation under grazing or browsing conditions is not possible, because actual intakes are unknown (Dove and Mayes 2005). Thus, the aim of the study was to evaluate the methodology of n-alkanes to estimate herbage intake by sheep in metabolic cages.