Abstract: Six mature and six yearling geldings were used to investigate the preference of complete pelleted feeds with varying forage to concentrate ratios. Three feeds were tested: high forage (H; 70% forage:30% concentrate), equal forage and concentrate (E) and low forage (L; 30% forage:70% concentrate). Horses were placed in stalls equipped with 2 buckets hung side by side on a wall. To familiarize horses with 2 options of feed buckets, each was given 10 min in the stall with 1 kg oats per bucket. A 6x6 Latin square with a 3x2 factorial treatment structure was used. Three feed combinations (HL, EL, and HE) were tested with horses receiving each combination twice with feed position reversed the second time. Buckets were weighed and feed was added. Mature horses received 1 kg per bucket and yearlings received 0.5 kg per bucket. Horses had 10 min to consume the feed(s), and then buckets were removed from stalls and reweighed to determine how much of each feed was consumed. Mature horses showed no preference to position of buckets, however, yearlings consumed more from the right bucket (P<.05). Initial bucket choice did not influence overall intake from either bucket. Mature horses showed no preference between L and H or between L and E, however E was preferred over H (P=.05). Yearlings showed no preference between L and H, however, E was preferred over L (P=.075) and H (P=.004).
C.I. O Connor, C. Ayers and B.D. Nielsen , 2004. Preference of Complete Pelleted Feeds with Differing Concentrate to Forage Ratios in Two Ages of Horses. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 3: 179-182.