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Voluntary feed intake and apparent digestibility in vivo in ponies given ad libitum access to de-hydrated grass or hay harvested from the same grass crop

  • J. J. Hyslop (a1), A. Bayley (a1), A. L. Tomlinson (a1) and D. Cuddeford (a1)

Extract

De-hydrated forages are often fed to equids in the UK in place of more traditional grass hay, particularly where individual animals are known to have a sensitivity to dusty, mouldy hay which may play a part inducing respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One such alternative forage is short-chop de-hydrated grass. However, there is very little information available on voluntary feed intake (VFI), apparent digestibility and nutrient intake parameters when de-hydrated grass is offered to equids compared with traditional grass hay. This study examines the VFI and apparent digestibility in vivo of a short-chop de-hydrated grass compared with a traditional grass hay and determines their ability to meet the predicted energy and protein needs of mature ponies.

Six mature Welsh-cross pony geldings with a mean liveweight (LW) of 281 kg (s.e.d. 0.89) were individually housed and offered ad libitum access to either short-chop de-hydrated grass (DHG) or traditional grass hay (HAY) plus 60 g/h/d minerals. The DHG and HAY were made from the same 2nd cut perennial ryegrass sward cut on the same day.

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References

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NRC. 1989. Nutrient Requirements of Horses. 5th edition. National Academy Press, Washington DC.

Voluntary feed intake and apparent digestibility in vivo in ponies given ad libitum access to de-hydrated grass or hay harvested from the same grass crop

  • J. J. Hyslop (a1), A. Bayley (a1), A. L. Tomlinson (a1) and D. Cuddeford (a1)

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