Veterinary journal (London, England : 1997)2015; 206(2); 170-177; doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2015.07.027

Considerations for the use of restricted, soaked grass hay diets to promote weight loss in the management of equine metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Abstract: The addition of hay soaking to current nutritional advice for weight loss management for equine obesity lacks clinical evidence. Twelve overweight/obese horses and ponies were used to test the hypothesis that feeding soaked hay at 1.25% of body mass (BM) daily as dry matter (DM) before soaking would elicit weight losses within the target 0.5-1.0% of BM weekly. Six animals were used to evaluate the impact of nutrient-leaching on the digestibility and daily intakes of dietary energy and nutrients. Soaked hay DM was corrected in accordance with the 'insoluble' ADF content of fresh and soaked hays. The ADF-based method was validated using a test-soaking protocol. Animals fed soaked hay for 6 weeks lost 0.98 ± 0.10% of BM weekly. The most weight loss sensitive animal lost ~2% of BM weekly. Soaking hay did not alter DM gross energy concentrations, incurred losses of water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and ash and increased acid detergent fibre (ADF) concentrations. Digestibilities of GE, DM, ash and WSC were unaltered but soaking increased uncorrected values for crude protein (+12%) and ADF (+13.5%) digestibility. Corrected DM provision was only 1% of BM daily, providing 64% of maintenance DE requirements, a 23.5% increase in the intended magnitude of energy restriction. Hay soaking leached nutrients, reduced DM and DE provision and was associated with accelerated weight losses over those expected had fresh-hay been fed to the same level. The ADF-based method will allow the predictive evaluation of individual hays to direct feeding management and prevent inadvertently severe DM and energy restriction.
Publication Date: 2015-07-30 PubMed ID: 26403956DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2015.07.027Google Scholar: Lookup
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  • Journal Article

Summary

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This research investigates the impact of feeding overweight horses and ponies a diet of soaked hay to promote weight loss, specifically looking at how nutrient-leaching affected the food’s digestibility and intake of dietary energy and nutrients.

Research Objective and Methodology

  • The study set out to observe the effects of a soaked hay diet fed at 1.25% of the horse’s body mass (BM) before soaking on weight loss. The ultimate goal was to explore whether such a diet could offer weight losses within the target range of 0.5-1.0% of BM per week.
  • The research’s method involved twelve overweight or obese horses and ponies and additionally used six more to evaluate the impact of nutrient-leaching on digestibility and daily energy and nutrient intakes.
  • The dry matter (DM) soaked hay was reformulated or ‘corrected’ based on the ADF (acid detergent fibre) content of both fresh and soaked hays.

Findings and Interpretation

  • The research revealed that animals that were fed soaked hay for 6 weeks lost roughly 0.98 ± 0.10% of their body mass per week. The most sensitive to weight loss lost about 2% of body mass weekly.
  • It was found that the process of soaking the hay did not change the dry matter (DM) gross energy concentrations but did cause losses of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and ash, while increasing acid detergent fibre (ADF) concentrations.
  • Soaking did not change the digestibility of GE (gross energy), DM, ash, and WSC; however, it led to a rise in uncorrected values for crude protein digestibility (+12%) and ADF digestibility (+13.5%).
  • The provision of corrected DM was only 1% of BM per day, supplying 64% of the maintenance dietary energy (DE) requirements. This indicated a 23.5% increase in the intended scale of energy restriction.

Implications and Conclusion

  • The study deduced that hay soaking leached nutrients, reduced DM and DE provision, and was associated with increased weight loss compared to the expectation if fresh-hay had been fed at the same level.
  • Therefore, the research appears to back up the hypothesis that a soaked hay diet can promote weight loss in overweight horses. However, it is important to consider that hay soaking also causes a decrease in the provision of dry matter and dietary energy.
  • The use of the ADF-based method validated in this study could aid in the predictive evaluation of individual hays. This could, in turn, guide feeding management and avert the risk of a severe DM and energy restriction.

Cite This Article

APA
Argo CM, Dugdale AH, McGowan CM. (2015). Considerations for the use of restricted, soaked grass hay diets to promote weight loss in the management of equine metabolic syndrome and obesity. Vet J, 206(2), 170-177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2015.07.027

Publication

ISSN: 1532-2971
NlmUniqueID: 9706281
Country: England
Language: English
Volume: 206
Issue: 2
Pages: 170-177
PII: S1090-0233(15)00318-4

Researcher Affiliations

Argo, Caroline McG
  • School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Manor Park Campus, Guildford GU2 7AL, UK. Electronic address: c.argo@surrey.ac.uk.
Dugdale, Alexandra H A
  • School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, UK.
McGowan, Catherine M
  • Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, UK.

MeSH Terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction / veterinary
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Horse Diseases / diet therapy
  • Horses
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / veterinary
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / veterinary
  • Poaceae
  • Water
  • Weight Loss / physiology

Citations

This article has been cited 7 times.
  1. Pratt-Phillips S, Munjizun A. Impacts of Adiposity on Exercise Performance in Horses.. Animals (Basel) 2023 Feb 14;13(4).
    doi: 10.3390/ani13040666pubmed: 36830453google scholar: lookup
  2. Glatter M, Bochnia M, Wensch-Dorendorf M, Greef JM, Zeyner A. Feed Intake Parameters of Horses Fed Soaked or Steamed Hay and Hygienic Quality of Hay Stored following Treatment.. Animals (Basel) 2021 Sep 18;11(9).
    doi: 10.3390/ani11092729pubmed: 34573695google scholar: lookup
  3. Daniels S, Hepworth J, Moore-Colyer M. The haybiome: Characterising the viable bacterial community profile of four different hays for horses following different pre-feeding regimens.. PLoS One 2020;15(11):e0242373.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242373pubmed: 33201929google scholar: lookup
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    doi: 10.1186/s12917-020-02356-wpubmed: 32448298google scholar: lookup
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    doi: 10.1111/jvim.15423pubmed: 30724412google scholar: lookup
  6. Michalak I, Mironiuk M, Marycz K. A comprehensive analysis of biosorption of metal ions by macroalgae using ICP-OES, SEM-EDX and FTIR techniques.. PLoS One 2018;13(10):e0205590.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205590pubmed: 30321205google scholar: lookup
  7. Morgan R, Keen J, McGowan C. Equine metabolic syndrome.. Vet Rec 2015 Aug 15;177(7):173-9.
    doi: 10.1136/vr.103226pubmed: 26273009google scholar: lookup