To analyze animal body composition or composition of a specific portion of an animal, a homogeneous sample representing the total must be produced. Large animals can be ground in screw-type grinders with powerful motors. Grinding is facilitated by freezing the specimen. To obtain homogeneity, the sample must be ground several times with progressively smaller face-plate openings and then thoroughly mixed to ensure that the small analytical sample represents the whole. Because large grinders are unavailable for very large animals, or to diminish the labor involved or to reduce the economic loss, a representative portion of the animal might be used;
it is rather common to analyze a rib section to estimate the composition of cattle.[3,4] Small animals, such as rodents, or small animal parts can be homogenized in a blender with a measured amount of water and an aliquant of the homogenate used as a sample. Hair is difficult to uniformly distribute in ground or homogenized samples and should be removed, collected, and weighed and/or further analyzed separately.
Was this article helpful?