Case study: Protection of environmental resources through the implementation of optimum feed-management practices on equine farms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this project was to develop an equine feed-management program similar to the national program (Harrison et al., 2012) that implements the USDA Standard for Feed Management. Twenty-one cooperating farms in 2 separate watersheds served as demonstration sites for proper feed-management practices. Most had no understanding of environmentally friendly feeding practices or nutrient management. Hay and pasture were the primary forages fed, and bagged commercial feed plus bulk or whole grains were the primary concentrates. Several fed rice or wheat bran, beet pulp, oil, or flax seed; 14 of the farms fed at least one miscellaneous supplement (vitamin, mineral, joint, hoof, and so on). Most balanced diets on their own, 2 used a private consultant, 2 used a feed dealer, and none used extension services. Horses on farms began the project slightly overweight, averaging a BCS of 5.8 ± 0.1 on a scale of 1 to 9; there was little change (6.1 ± 0.1) over the course of the study. Most farms were overfeeding, perhaps creating increased nutrient losses. In general few participants implemented project recommendations (6 farms), and fewer followed up during the year (3 farms). Those following recommendations saw changes in the conditions of horses. Outcomes suggest that an equine feed-management program should include regular feed and forage testing, use of nutrition professionals to analyze animals and formulate diets, a pasture-management program, and a dry-lot or exercise-lot strategy to reduce feed losses. Equine farms present challenges when developing feed-management plans and may require alternative approaches to encourage producer participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-301
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Keywords

  • Best management practices
  • Equine
  • Feed management
  • Nutrient management
  • Waste disposal

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Case study: Protection of environmental resources through the implementation of optimum feed-management practices on equine farms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this