Journal of equine veterinary science2018; 64; 96-100; doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2018.02.005

Effects of Feeding Frequency Using a Commercial Automated Feeding Device on Gastric Ulceration in Exercised Quarter Horses.

Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate two feeding regimens: traditional grain feeding (twice a day, traditional fed [TF]) compared with horses fed with an automated feeder programmed to deliver grain in 20 equal aliquots (fractioned fed [FF]) and its effects on gastric ulceration, body weight, and body condition score (BCS). Thirty-one Quarter Horses were maintained in individual stalls during the 60-day experimental period and worked at moderate exercise intensity. Gastroscopies were performed before grain adaptation at 0, 30, and 60 days. Weight and BCS were evaluated biweekly. There were no changes in squamous (equine squamous gastric disease [ESGD]) ulcers in FF horses over the study period and higher ESGD ulcer scores in TF horses over both the 30 and 60-day time points. The proportion of horses with equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD) were significantly lower with fractioned feed when compared with traditional feed on day 30, but no difference was seen at day 60. No significant differences were found when comparing the two groups for BCS or body weight throughout the study period. This study further supports that fasting period is a strong contributing factor for gastric ulcer formation. FF of the daily total grain led to a decrease in time fasting when compared with TF which reduced the severity and incidence of both ESGD and EGGD. The use of the commercial feeder for FF may aid in lessening prevalence of gastric ulcers in young training Quarter Horses.
Publication Date: 2018-02-16 PubMed ID: 30973160DOI: 10.1016/j.jevs.2018.02.005Google Scholar: Lookup
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  • Journal Article

Summary

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The research article investigates how different feeding methods, specifically fractioned feeding (FF) as against traditional feeding (TF), affect the presence and severity of gastric ulcers, along with changes in body weight and body condition score among Quarter Horses. The study supports that reduced fasting times brought about by fractioned feeding lowers the incidence and severity of gastric ulcers.

Methodology and Experimental Design

  • Thirty-one Quarter Horses were used for this experiment. All were kept in individual stalls for the duration of the experiment.
  • The horses were subjected to moderate exercise intensity over a 60-day period.
  • A feeding program was implemented wherein the traditional feeding method (TF – feeding twice a day) was compared to fractioned feeding (FF – where food is given in 20 equal parts using an automated feeder).
  • Gastroscopies were conducted on the horses at the start, midpoint, and end of the study (days 0, 30, and 60).
  • The horses’ weight and body condition scores (BCS) were also noted every two weeks.

Observations and Findings

  • The study saw no changes in the severity or presence of squamous (ESGD) ulcers in the FF group when observed over the course of the study.
  • Contrarily, in the TF group, higher ESGD ulcer scores were reported at both the midpoint and end of the experiment.
  • There was a significant decrease in the prevalence of glandular (EGGD) ulcers in the FF group when compared to the TF group on day 30. However, this difference was not observed on the 60th day.
  • The comparison of body weight and BCS between the two feeding systems did not show any significant differences throughout the research period.

Conclusion

  • The results suggest that the time period spent fasting could be a significant factor causing gastric ulcers in horses.
  • Fractioned feeding, by reducing the fasting time compared to traditional feeding, led to a decrease in the severity and occurrence of both ESGD and EGGD ulcers.
  • The introduction of an automated FF system using a commercial device can potentially decrease the prevalence of gastric ulcers in young, training Quarter Horses.

Cite This Article

APA
Bass L, Swain E, Santos H, Hess T, Black J. (2018). Effects of Feeding Frequency Using a Commercial Automated Feeding Device on Gastric Ulceration in Exercised Quarter Horses. J Equine Vet Sci, 64, 96-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2018.02.005

Publication

ISSN: 0737-0806
NlmUniqueID: 8216840
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 64
Pages: 96-100
PII: S0737-0806(17)30566-X

Researcher Affiliations

Bass, Luke
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Electronic address: luke.bass@colostate.edu.
Swain, Elsbeth
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
Santos, Hugo
  • Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
Hess, Tanja
  • Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
Black, Jerry
  • Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Citations

This article has been cited 2 times.
  1. Julliand S, Buttet M, Hermange T, Hillon P, Julliand V. Effect of diet composition on glandular gastric disease in horses.. J Vet Intern Med 2023 Jul-Aug;37(4):1528-1536.
    doi: 10.1111/jvim.16747pubmed: 37264707google scholar: lookup
  2. Hewetson M, Tallon R. Equine Squamous Gastric Disease: Prevalence, Impact and Management.. Vet Med (Auckl) 2021;12:381-399.
    doi: 10.2147/VMRR.S235258pubmed: 35004264google scholar: lookup