MARS Horse Care UK Ltd.

Bucks, United Kingdom

MARS Horse Care UK Ltd.

Bucks, United Kingdom
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Ellis A.D.,UNEQUI Ltd. | Redgate S.,Nottingham Trent University | Zinchenko S.,Nottingham Trent University | Owen H.,Nottingham Trent University | And 2 more authors.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to explore the efficacy of multi-layered haynets and multiple presentation of haynets to increase time spent on feed intake behaviour at night (13. h observation). For preliminary assessment two horses performing the oral stereotypy of crib-biting were included. Six horses received the same amount of forage during a 22-day, cross-over study where treatment consisted of either forage presentation in a single small-holed haynet (SH) or the forage was divided between 3 haynet combinations hung up simultaneously. = multiple haynets (MH). The three haynets presented simultaneously consisted of (a) MH single haynet (same as SH), (b) MH double layered haynet and (c) MH triple layered haynet. Multiple haynets were presented, in random order, on three sides of the stable. Horses were filmed using a video surveillance camera with infrared light source. Behaviour was observed for at least 4 nights per treatment (one night during the acclimatisation period [nights 2-4] and three nights during the end period [nights 7-11]). The observation period commenced at 16.30-17.00. h (point of haynets being presented) until 06.00. h (all horses) or 9.00. h (2 crib-biting horses) the next morning. Data were analysed for normal distribution and ANOVA between haynets, paired t-tests between treatments and Pearson correlation were used (SPSS. 17.00; 2012). There was a significant effect of type of haynet (p<. 0.001) on intake time per kg forage (min/kg for SH: 39; MH all (data combined): 51; MH Single: 27; MH Double: 67; MH Triple: 78; overall sem. 8.9). The overall time budget (minutes per observation hour) showed a significant difference between treatments for eating from haynet, standing still, locomotion and drinking. Horses finished eating from SH haynets at around 01.38. am (±1.05. h s.d.), were last observed at the double net at 03.00. am and at the triple net at 05.12. am (±1.25. h s.d.). Based on these results, providing 6. kg of forage in 3 double-layered, 2.5. cm haynets spread around the stable could potentially lead to an increased feeding time of 2. h per night compared to a single 2.5. cm holed haynet containing 6. kg. From the continuous observation data a clear visual difference in crib-biting pattern and therefore motivation to perform crib-biting emerged between the two stereotypic horses. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Ellis A.D.,Unequi Ltd. | Fell M.,Nottingham Trent University | Luck K.,Nottingham Trent University | Gill L.,Nottingham Trent University | And 4 more authors.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2015

In some stabled horses, the lack of foraging opportunity leads to a reduction in chewing time with consequent negative impacts on the digestive system and potentially development of stereotypies. This study aimed to compare the effect of four types of haynets on feed intake behaviour in stabled horses. Feed intake behaviour (intake time, bite rate, chews/kilogram, chews/minute) was measured in 12 horses (age 13. ±. 4 yrs; BW 585. ±. 62. kg) using four types of haynets (Eliminet 25. mm mesh, Furlong 30. mm, Haylage net 30. mm, Original 'Large' 75. mm) in a 4. ×. 4 Latin Square Design. Horses were provided with their daily forage intake via each haynet for a 10-day period and forage intake measurements were taken at the beginning, middle and end of each period to account for acclimatisation to the haynets. Data was analysed using ANOVA and is presented as means. ±. standard error. The 'Large' haynet recorded more chews per minute (66. ±. 1.1 versus 60. ±. 1.0. chews/min, p<. 0.01) compared to other haynets due to a reduced bite rate (17. ±. 1.7. bites/kg versus 28. ±. 1.6. bites/min, p<. 0.001). The Eliminet (smallest mesh) only showed a weak trend in reduced intake in grams per minute translating to a significantly increased intake time per 1. kg of hay compared to the Large haynet (Eliminet 33. min, Furlong 29. min, Haylage 28. min, Large 25. min; p<. 0.01) when excluding acclimatisation data (beginning). Overall, however, all smaller holed haynets (25-30. mm) were equally successful in slightly slowing feed intake down with an increased intake time of around 5. min/kg compared with the 'large-holed' haynet (75. mm). Night observations (. n=. 6) showed no difference in the time to finish eating between the haynets but did show that feeding time was spread slightly more across the night with the smaller mesh nets. Most horses (67% of observations) had eaten all their forage or no longer returned to the nets (6.5. ±. 1. kg) after 22:30 at night. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Longland A.C.,Equine and Livestock Nutrition Services ELNS | Barfoot C.,Mars Horse Care UK Ltd | Harris P.A.,Equine Studies Group
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2012

Intakes were determined in four mature ponies, grazing spring, summer and autumn pastures on four, 3 hour occasions per pony per season when fitted with or without a grazing muzzle. Pasture intakes were determined by change in liveweight (LW) over the 3 hour grazing period, after accounting for insensible weight loss (ISWL) and weight of excreta. Ponies were prevented from drinking during the 3 hour grazing period. Pastures were sampled daily mid-way through the grazing period for determination of DM. Wearing grazing muzzles reduced pasture dry matter intake (DMI) relative to when grazing muzzles were not fitted by 78, 77 and 83% for spring, summer and autumn pastures respectively.

Longland A.C.,Equine and Livestock Nutrition Services | Barfoot C.,MARS Horse Care UK Ltd. | Harris P.A.,Equine Studies Group
Veterinary Record | Year: 2014

The effects of different water-soaking treatments on removal of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), WSC constituents and protein from four UK hays were determined. Hays were soaked in water for up to 16 hours at mean temperatures of 8°C, 16°C, in hot tap water (initially 49°C) or agitated and rinsed in clean water at 16°C. Initial hay WSC contents ranged from 154 to 216 g/kg dry matter. Losses of WSC from hays after 16 hours soaking at 8°C, 16°C, 16°C plus agitation and 49°C averaged 28, 46, 49 and 44 per cent, respectively. Corresponding percentage losses of fructan were 16, 37, 39 and 33. Percentage losses of sucrose averaged 55 (8°C), 86 (16°C), 91 (16°C+agitation) and 82 (initial temperature 49°C), those of glucose were 60, 85, 75 and 75, and of fructose were 41, 52, 54 and 46. Hay crude protein contents were not significantly changed by any of the soaking treatments. Soaking at 8°C generally resulted in reduced losses of WSC compared to when soaked at the higher temperatures. Thus, in cold weather using warmer water to soak hays may effect greater WSC loss, although very prolonged soaking at warm temperatures might encourage the proliferation of unwanted micro-organisms in the soak liquor.

Moore-Colyer M.J.S.,Royal Agricultural University | Lumbis K.,Royal Agricultural University | Longl A.,Equine and Livestock Nutrition Services | Harris P.,Mars Horsecare UK LTD
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Five different hays were used to determine the effect of 5 different soaking and steaming treatments on the water soluble carbohydrate and microbial (bacteria and mould) contents of UK hay. Hays were subjected to the following 5 treatments: 1. Dry; 2. Steamed for 50 minutes in the Haygain- 600 steamer; 3. Soaked in water at 16°C for 9 hours; 4. Steamed then soaked and 5. Soaked then steamed. Post treatment hays were tested for water soluble carbohydrates, bacteria and mould contents. Differences between means were determined using ANOVA and least significant difference with hay (5), bale (3) and treatment (5) as fixed factors, thus n=75. Protein and ash proportions were unaltered in any of the treatments. Soaked, steamed then soaked and soaked then steamed treatments were all equally effective at reducing water soluble carbohydrates, with significantly (P<0.05) lower mean contents (79-83 g/kg DM) compared with 126 and 122 g/kg dry matter (DM) for dry and steamed respectively. Steamed and soaked then steamed had significantly (P<0.05) less bacteria (1.04×103 and 4.9times;102 CFU/g DM) compared with soaked which increased CFU/g DM from 6.0×104 in dry hay up to 3.5×105. Mould contents CFU/g DM were significantly (Plt;0.05) reduced by steaming (2) and soaking then steaming (1.9) but no difference was seen between dry (1148), soaked (692) or steamed then soaked (501). Soaking for 9 hours followed by steaming for 50 minutes in the Haygain steamer was the most effective method for reducing water soluble carbohydrates and microbial contamination in hay. Soaking or steaming+soaking lowered water soluble carbohydrates but significantly reduced the hygienic quality of the hay which could potentially compromise the health of the horse. ©2014 Moore-Colyer et al.

Argo C.M.C.G.,University of Liverpool | Curtis G.C.,University of Liverpool | Grove-White D.,University of Liverpool | Dugdale A.H.A.,University of Liverpool | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2012

Evidence-based, weight loss management advice is required to address equine obesity. Changes in body mass (BM), body condition score (BCS), heart (HG) and belly circumference (BG), direct (ultrasonographic) and indirect (D2O dilution, bioelectrical impedance analysis [BIA]) measures of body fat as well as indices of insulin resistance (IR) were monitored in 12 overweight (BCS≥7/9) horses and ponies of mixed breed and gender for 16weeks. Animals were randomly assigned to two groups (Group 1, n=6, BCS 7.6/9±0.6, 489±184.6kg; Group 2, n=6, BCS 8.1/9±0.6, 479±191.5kg). Daily dry matter intake (DMI) was restricted to 1.25% BM as one of two, near-isocaloric (DE ∼0.115MJ/kgBM/day), forage-based diets (Group 1, 0.8% BM chaff-based feed: 0.45% BM hay; Group 2, 1.15% BM hay: 0.1% BM nutrient-balancer).Statistical modelling revealed considerable between-animal heterogeneity in proportional weight losses (0.16-0.55% of Week 1 BM weekly). The magnitude of weight loss resistance (WLR) or sensitivity to dietary restriction was independent of diet or any measured outset variable and was largely (65%) attributed to animal identity. Predicted rates of weight loss decreased over time. BCS and BIA were poor estimates of D2O-derived body fat%. Reciprocal changes in depths of retroperitoneal and subcutaneous adipose tissues were evident. Changes in BG were associated with losses in retroperitoneal fat and BM (r2, 0.67 and 0.79). Indices of IR improved for 9/12 animals by Week 16. For obese animals, weight loss should be initiated by restricting forage DMI to 1.25% BM. Subsequent restriction to 1% BM may be warranted for WLR animals. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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