Effect of concentrate form and composition on exercising horses

Grants and Contracts Details


Background: Previous studies have suggested that both diet form (textured or pelleted) and composition (level of fiber and starch) can affect the metabolic responses of horses to a meal. Pelleting results in greater post-prandial glucose responses, possibly because the starch is more available for small intestinal digestion and absorption. Starch digestion in the small intestine should be more energetically efficient and also healthier for the large intestine. In addition we have shown that a feed lower in starch and higher in fiber can reduce the postprandial blood glucose surge, which is perceived by some horse owners as being desirable. However, we have not documented effects of these various feeds on feed efficiency or large intestinal health. In addition, the relative benefits of these different types of concentrates to horses performing regular exercise have not been assessed. This project will compare three concentrate feeds: 1) C= a standard high starch textured feed; 2) P= a pelleted feed with the same nutrient composition as the textured feed; and 3) F= a low starch, high fiber feed. Specific Objectives Objective 1: Compare the feeding value of three concentrates for horses in their ability to maintain body weight Objective 2: Assess the effects of these three concentrates on the response of horses to exercise
Effective start/end date6/1/0612/31/07


  • Cooperative Research Farms: $43,098.00


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