Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2017
Review: Feeding conserved forage to horses: recent advances and recommendationsHarris, P. A.; Ellis, A. D.; Fradinho, M. J.; Jansson, A.; Julliand, V.; Luthersson, N.; Santos, A. S.; Vervuert, I.
AbstractThe horse is a non-ruminant herbivore adapted to eating plant-fibre or forage-based diets. Some horses are stabled for most or the majority of the day with limited or no access to fresh pasture and are fed preserved forage typically as hay or haylage and sometimes silage. This raises questions with respect to the quality and suitability of these preserved forages (considering production, nutritional content, digestibility as well as hygiene) and required quantities. Especially for performance horses, forage is often replaced with energy dense feedstuffs which can result in a reduction in the proportion of the diet that is forage based. This may adversely affect the health, welfare, behaviour and even performance of the horse. In the past 20 years a large body of research work has contributed to a better and deeper understanding of equine forage needs and the physiological and behavioural consequences if these are not met. Recent nutrient requirement systems have incorporated some, but not all, of this new knowledge into their recommendations. This review paper amalgamates recommendations based on the latest understanding in forage feeding for horses, defining forage types and preservation methods, hygienic quality, feed intake behaviour, typical nutrient composition, digestion and digestibility as well as health and performance implications. Based on this, consensual applied recommendations for feeding preserved forages are provided.
Keywordsforage; health; hygiene; behaviour; requirements
2017, volume: 11, number: 6, pages: 958-967
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
Harris, P. A.
UK Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition
Ellis, A. D.
Fradinho, M. J.
University of Lisbon
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Établissement national d'enseignement supérieur agronomique de Dijon (ENESAD)
Santos, A. S.
University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro
University of Leipzig
UKÄ Subject classification
Animal and Dairy Science
URI (permanent link to this page)