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Journal Articles Journal of Equine Veterinary Science Year : 2019

Sugar beet pulp presentation alters intake behavior of horses


One strategy for providing energy to horses without compro-mising their digestive health is to substitute high starch feedsby high solublefibers sugar beet pulp (SBP). In France, there isgreat reluctance to feed SBP as it is believed by horse owners tobe responsible for esophageal obstruction (EO). To our knowl-edge, there is no scientific evidence supporting this concern,but studies reported that inadequate mastication and rapidingestion were main causes of EO. As SBP can be fed underseveral forms (pellets/shreds, dry/soaked), this study aimed atevaluating intake behavior of horses fed various SBP products todetermine which one was the most suitable to horses. Ninehorses were involved in a crossover design composed of 9consecutive experimental periods of 3 d each. During eachperiod, they were fed hay ad libitum and received randomly 1kg (DM) of 1 SBP form for the morning meal. The presentationforms consisted of standard pellets of SBP, pellets made ofmilled SBP, or SBP shreds processed from the same batch.Products were distributed either dry or soaked until saturated.On d 3 of each period, intake behavior was registered withvideo cameras during thefirst 10 min following SBP distribu-tion. Duration and number of occurrences for the followingbehaviors were recorded: prehension inside feeder, masticationin front of feeder, and mastication far from feeder. Moreover,intake and chewing rates were calculated. Effect of process,soaking and their interaction were analyzed using a MIXEDprocedure on SAS. Feeding 1kg DM per meal of SBP did notprovoke any EO. Prehension was longer with soaked standardand milled pellets compared with dry pellets (P¼0.0003).Duration (P¼0.0006) and occurrences (P¼0.02) of“masti-cation far from feeder”were greater when horses were fed dryproducts compared with soaked. Intake rate was significantlygreater with the 2 dry pellets compared with soaked forms andshreds, and chewing rate was significantly greater with drystandard pellets compared with dry shreds (Table 1). SoakingSBP or choosing voluminous products like shreds could be astrategy to decrease intake rate and thus to minimize risk of EO.
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Dates and versions

hal-02173245 , version 1 (04-07-2019)



Pauline Grimm, M. Terra Braga, Alexandra Destrez, Véronique Julliand, Samy Julliand. Sugar beet pulp presentation alters intake behavior of horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 2019, 76, pp.82. ⟨10.1016/j.jevs.2019.03.105⟩. ⟨hal-02173245⟩
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