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To move, to grow and breed , animals expend energy. Their needs vary so much, and same the energy use can vary. To anticipate or respond to these needs, some animals will store energy, others will prefer to increase the amount of food ingested or better digest these foods. But how grass, meat or milk can they give energy?
It is in 1770 than Antoine Lavoisier demonstrated that the food oxidation is the source of heat from the body. The first studies seeking to measure the heat of the bodies date back to the XXth century with Carl von Voit and Max Rubner. They measured the energy expenditure of animals using the principles of physics in nutrition.
Today, with advances in science on metabolism, we know explain the fundamental differences between carnivore and herbivore diets. On one side herbivores use bacteria to enhance energy plants and to synthesize the missing nutrients in plants. On the other hand carnivores eat meat and fat to meet their energy needs and to get the nutrients they know not synthesize. Same diets will then not be used in the same way as the animal that consumes it.
Glucose
Antoine Lavoisier

DE (per g food) = (GE of food consumed – GE of faeces collected) / amount of food consumed
ME = [(GE of food consumed – GE of faeces collected) – (grams protein consumed – grams protein in faeces) x correction factor for energy loss in urine] / amount of food consumed



Digestible energy calculations
Rabbit, Guinea Pig, ChinchillaDERabbit [MJ/kg] = (17.79 – (0.0136 * g CF) – (0.0480 * g CA)) * g DM/880
Dog, catGE (kcal) = (5.7 * g CP) + (9.4 * g fat) + [4.1 * (g NfE + g CF)]
% ED Dogs = 91.2 – (1.43 * % CF in dry matter)
% ED Cats = 87.9 – (0.88 * % CF in dry matter)

Metabolizable energy calculations
Rat, Mouse, Hamster, Pig, Mini PigMEPig [MJ/kg] = 0.0223 * g CP + 0.0341 * g CL + 0.0170 * g St + 0.0168 * g Su + 0.0074 * g (DM - CA - CP - CL - St - Su – Cellulose) – 0.0109 * g CF
Rabbit, Guinea Pig, ChinchillaMECattle [MJ/kg] = 0.00126 * g CP + 0.0225 * g CF + 0.0112 * g NfE + 0.0003975 * g CA * g CL – 0.0001993 * g CA * g CF + 0.000002499 * g ELOS² – 0.15
Poultry : broiler, chick, turkey quail, hen, duck, gooseMEPoultry [MJ/kg] = 0.01551 * g CP + 0.03431 * g CL + 0.01669 * g St + 0.01301 * g Su
Dog, Cat (Atwater modified)MEDog/Cat [MJ/kg] = 0.01465 • g CP + 0.03558 • g CL + 0.01465 • g NfE
Primates (Atwater)MEPrimate [MJ/kg] = 0.01674 • g CP + 0.03767 • g CL + 0.01674 • g NfE



It is possible to use the modified Atwater formula for the poor fiber standard diets, this formula is based on an average digestibility of 90% for CL, 85% for NfE and 80% for CP

Modified Atwater factors (ME (MJ/kg) = 0.01465 * CP (g) + 0.03558 * CL (g) + 0.01465 * NfE (g))