Research Project Abstract – An Evaluation of the Introduction of Continuous Feeding for 34 Stabled Horses
The consequences of intermittent feeding for stabled horses are increasingly being acknowledged, researched and documented. For many stabled horses, access to continuous grazing can be quite limited. Amongst some of the stereotypical behaviours that may arise from this, many equines may develop ulcers as a result of the intermittent feeding regime within many stables.
This project tracks the progress of the introduction of continuous feeding amongst 34 stabled horses between October 2010 and September 2011, with research continuing into 2012. Some of the benefits of the introduction of continuous feeing include calmer horses, horses putting on and keeping condition, considerably less intensity in relation to returning from the arena to the stables as horses associate the stable with feed at particular times of the day, virtually no resistance to leaving the stable for lessons and considerably less agitation around feeding time.
Hay nets were weighed over a period of 4 months with the ultimate objective to have between 1kg and 2 kg in the bag each morning. Difficulties arose with weight gain and the challenge of balancing continuous access to hay with keeping weight at a healthy limit. The presentation will show video footage of horses before and after and particularly behaviours around feeding time.
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