Domesticated equines (horses, ponies, donkeys and donkey hybrids (mules & hinnies)) have been found to have fundamental differences in concentrations of anaerobic fungi, bacteria and archaea in their faecal microbiome. Whilst all microbial concentrations were affected by the type of equine, the greatest differences were observed in terms of the anaerobic fungi.
A six-fold higher anaerobic fungal concentration in donkeys relative to horses suggests that these potent fibre degrading organisms significantly contribute to the reported ability of donkeys to degrade dietary fibre more effectively than horses.
These early project research findings were presented at the European Equine Health & Nutrition Congress (EEHNC , Antwerp, Belgium, March 2017) as both a poster and podium presentation.
The conference poster can be accessed here.