Comparison of Different Management Techniques on Hay Wastage in Horses Fed Coastal Bermudagrass Square Baled Hay

Matthew L. McMillan, Marcy M. Beverly, Stanley F. Kelley, Kyle R. Stutts, Lesley R. McMillan


Twelve two-year old Quarter Horses in training were used to determine the amount of Coastal bermudagrass hay (Cynodon dactylon L.) (Coastal) wastage and incidence of colic when hay was fed in a commercial type feeder versus on the ground.  A 2 x 2 Latin Square Design was used as the experimental design.  Horses were housed in 3.048m x 4.267m box stalls and offered Coastal at 1.75% their body weight.  In treatment 1, horses were offered Coastal on the ground for 14 continuous days.  In treatment 2, horses were offered Coastal hay in a common commercial feeder for 14 continuous days.  Collection of waste was conducted twice daily one hour prior to next feeding.  Waste included any hay on stall floor, or any that may have fallen behind feeder or immediately in front of stall.  Once waste was collected all remains were dried, weighed, and recorded.  Signs of colic were observed before and after every feeding.  No differences were seen in dry matter intake between treatment groups.  Wastage (DM) was lower (P<0.001) when Coastal was fed in a commercial feeder versus when fed on the ground.  No signs of colic were observed throughout the trial.


coastal bermudagrass; horse; waste

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