Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Equine Research Station, FIN-32100 Ypäjä, Finland
The aim of this study was to evaluate the feed, energy and protein intakes of horses engaged in different performances by reviewing results and data concerning feed consumption in 17 feeding trials with a total 356 horses, conducted between 1972 and 1992. The dry matter intake was found to average 1.6-1.8% of body weight for working horses and pregnant mares, and 2-3.5% for lactating mares. According to the results most of the exercising horses could be fed with energy and protein amounts currently recommended for moderate work. In Standardbred trotters, the average energy intake corresponded to the current requirements for light work. The individual variation in energy consumption among horses engaged in work of the same intensity was considerable, and seemed to be larger for Finnhorses than for warmblooded horses. The establishment of new nutrient requirements and feeding recommendations separately for trotters and riding horses of these two breeds, i.e. Finnhorses and warmblooded horses, seems justified.
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