Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition - MNHWC shared University of Minnesota Equine Extension Program's photo.
Research Update Monday (yes, we know its Tuesday)! Hay waste during feeding represents a costly expense for horse owners. The objective of this study, conducted at the University of Minnesota, was to determine hay waste of small square-bale feeders when used in outdoor feeding of adult horses. Feeder designs included a hayrack ($280; Horse Bunk Feeder and Hay Rack, Priefert Manufacturing), slat feeder ($349; The Natural Feeder), basket feeder ($372; Equine Hay Basket, Tarter Farm and Ranch Equipment), and a no-feeder control. Twelve adult horses were divided into four groups and were rotated through separate outdoor dirt paddocks. Horses were fed grass hay at 2.5% of the herd bodyweight daily, split evenly into a morning and afternoon feeding. Waste hay was collected before each feeding. Mean hay waste was 13, 5, 3, and 1%, for the no-feeder control, hayrack, basket feeder, and slat feeder, respectively. All feeders resulted in less hay waste compared to the control, and the slat feeder resulted in less hay waste compared to the hayrack. Additional information on feeder economics, horse bodyweight change, and hay intake will be available soon! This project was supported by a grant from the American Quarter Horse Foundation.
By: University of Minnesota Equine Extension Program