<h5>Introduction</h5> Values for daily dry matter (DM) pasture intakes by grazing equids have generally been reported to range from [as a percentage of liveweight (LW) on a DM basis] 1.5-2.0 percent for mature horses, 2.5 percent for lactating mares and 2.0-3.0 percent for weanlings (in NRC 2007 ). However, other studies have reported grazed pasture intakes of 5 percent or more of liveweight per day ( Smith et al, 2007 ; McMeniman, 2000). However, such values have tended to be regarded with caution as they are considerably higher than many measured DM intakes by stabled horses, but concur with recent values of intakes of around 5 percent of LW of chopped fibre, or pelleted chaff reported by Dugdale et al., (2010) and Argo et al., (2002) respectively. Rapid weight gain is often achieved in grazing equids, particularly on spring and early summer pastures at a rate often difficult to achieve in even the most intensively fed stabled animals. This may suggest that the generally accepted estimates of pasture DM intakes may be too low. In this study a range of possible pasture DM intakes by mature ponies using their change in liveweight during six weeks turn out at
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2011
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