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Straw as an Alternative to Grass Forage in Horses-Effects on Post-Prandial Metabolic Profile, Energy Intake, Behaviour and Gastric Ulceration

Jansson, Anna and Harris, Patricia and Larsdotter Davey, Sara and Luthersson, Nanna and Ragnarsson, Sveinn and Ringmark, Sara (2021). Straw as an Alternative to Grass Forage in Horses-Effects on Post-Prandial Metabolic Profile, Energy Intake, Behaviour and Gastric Ulceration. Animals. 11 , 2197
[Research article]

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Abstract

Simple Summary Many leisure horses have low energy requirements and obesity is common. Straw has a low energy content and could be a forage option for these horses. However, a previous study suggested that providing straw as the only forage was associated with an increased risk for gastric ulcers. This study evaluated replacing 50% of the daily forage allowance with a good hygienic quality wheat straw. Six horses were fed both the control diet (grass forage only, CON) and the straw diet (50:50 grass forage and straw, S). Each diet was fed for three weeks and all horses were evaluated on both diets. Diet did not affect the prevalence of gastric ulcers. Feed intake time was longer and daily energy intake lower on diet S, compared to CON. Plasma insulin levels were lower on diet S compared to CON, which could be beneficial for horses with overweight or insulin dysregulation. The results suggest that good hygienic wheat straw provided at 50% of the forage ration does not cause gastric ulcers, but may prolong feeding time and promote a metabolic profile more suitable for overweight horses. Including straw as part of the ration therefore may improve welfare for horses with low energy requirements. Straw's low energy content means it is a roughage option for horses with low energy requirements. Previously, in a field study, straw was associated with an increased risk for gastric ulcers. This study evaluated the effect on gastric ulcers, metabolic profile and behaviour of replacing, in a forage-only ration, 50% of the daily allowance with wheat straw. Six equines were studied in a 2 x 21-day cross-over design. The control diet (CON: 100% grass forage) and the straw diet (S: 50% grass forage and 50% straw [DM basis]) were iso-energetic. Gastroscopy was performed prior to the study and on day 21 and blood samples were collected and behavioural observations were performed. Diet did not affect squamous or glandular gastric ulcer scores (p > 0.05). Feed intake time was longer (p < 0.05) plus energy intake and plasma insulin concentrations were lower on diet S compared to CON (p < 0.0001). Plasma serotonin concentrations tended to be higher on diet S compared to CON (p = 0.05). The results suggest that good hygienic quality wheat straw can be included for up to 50% of the diet without causing gastric ulcers and that it can extend feeding time and promote a metabolic profile more suitable for overweight horses.

Authors/Creators:Jansson, Anna and Harris, Patricia and Larsdotter Davey, Sara and Luthersson, Nanna and Ragnarsson, Sveinn and Ringmark, Sara
Title:Straw as an Alternative to Grass Forage in Horses-Effects on Post-Prandial Metabolic Profile, Energy Intake, Behaviour and Gastric Ulceration
Series Name/Journal:Animals
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Article number:2197
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2076-2615
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Keywords:gastric ulcer, insulin, satiety, straw, serotonin, weight loss
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113537
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113537
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/ani11082197
Web of Science (WoS)000688631200001
ID Code:25337
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
University Animal Hospital
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
University Animal Hospital (UAH)
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:15 Sep 2021 09:25
Metadata Last Modified:15 Sep 2021 09:31

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