The digestion of fibre in herbivorous Anatidae a review

D Durant


Numerous studies on the ability of herbivorous Anatidae to digest fibre
from a variety of food types (foliage, seeds, tubers) have yielded variable
results. Herbivorous ducks and geese have the capacity to digest some
components of fibre (between 0% and 85%, depending on the study and
the fibre com ponents analysed), in particular hem icellulose.
H em icellulose may be partially digested by acid hydrolysis early in the
digestive tract, and the small particles of the fluid digesta obtained may
undergo a lim ited ferm entation in the caecae (with the aid of symbiotic
microflora). Two sources of variation in the digestibility of fibre identified
by the studies are discussed: experim ental factors (in p articular the dif.

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