SREL Reprint #0474




Digestibility and Elemental Assimilation in Cotton Rats

Donald W. Kaufman, Michael J. O’Farrell, Glennis A. Kaufman, and Susan E. Fuller



Digestibility (82%) was measured directly for 10 cotton rats in the laboratory.  Subsequently, digestibility was estimated using the ratio of ash in food and feces as well as the ratio technique with 15 specific elements.  Digestibility estimates were all too low, therefore, the fecal ash values were corrected relative to a digestibility of 82%.  Using the same correction factor with the modified ash ratio technique, digestibility was estimated to be 78% under field conditions.  Digestibility values for the 23 field-caught cotton rats were all too low using the ratio technique for the 15 specific elements, however, the Ba estimate was 76%.  Assimilation of each element under both laboratory and field conditions were estimated from digestibility values and the elemental concentration data for stomach contents and feces.  Problems with estimating elemental assimilation are discussed relative to the specific elements examined.

SREL Reprint #0474

Kaufman, D.W., M.J. O'Farrell, G.A. Kaufman, and S.E. Fuller. 1976. Digestibility and elemental assimilation in cotton rats. Acta Theriologica 21:147-156.

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