The effects of endophyte-infected tall fescue on stallion reproductive parameters
Traylor, Marion Whitney
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Six stallions were used in this study to determine the effects of endophyte-infected tall fescue on reproductive parameters. One experimental diet consisted of endophyte-infected tall fescue and the other consisted of a non-toxic endophyte tall fescue, Flecha AR-542, known as MaxQ. Stallions were fed one of two diets at 45% of the grain diet, at a rate of 1% of their body weight. Three stallions were blindly assigned each experimental diet and fed each diet for 70 days. After a seventy day rest period treatments were switched and fed for another 70 days. Stallions were supplied with fresh water, Common Bermuda, and Annual Ryegrass ad libitum. Results showed no differences in stallion reproductive parameters measured when feed endophyte-infected or MaxQ. Urinary alkaloid and creatinine tests were performed on urine samples to make sure stallions were receiving toxic levels of ergot alkaloids. Stallions consuming endophyte-infected seed had higher (P<0.0002) alkaloid/creatinine levels.