Change In Diet From Grass To Hay Hard On Horse’s Hindgut

Horses that have abrupt changes to the grass and hay in their diets have changes in the microbial population of their feces. The change from hay to grass has a higher risk of causing problems in the equine gut than swapping from grass to hay. These changes may alter the gut microbiota, which may cause digestive or metabolic disturbance.

Drs. Anna Garber, Peter Hastie, David McGuinness, Pauline Malarange and Jo-Anne Murray created an experiment to test the microbiota of six Welsh ponies that were changed from pasture to hay and grass back to hay. For 30 days before the experiment began, the ponies were on pasture.

The study used two 14-day periods; in the first period, the ponies were taken off pasture and fed hay for 14 days. The ponies were then turned back out on pasture and given unlimited hay as well. Fecal samples were collected at the start of each phase and then on days 1, 2, 3, 7 and 14 after the changes to the diet were made. The samples were analyzed to determine how many microbiota were present as well as to characterize the microbiome.

The scientists found that the microbiota in the fecal samples were diverse, but that their abundance changed with abrupt dietary changes. Ponies fed the diet of restricted hay had microbiota similar to those ponies fed just grass, but they differed widely with regards to abundance.

They conclude that abrupt changes from hay to grass may pose a higher risk for hindgut pH to drop and cause gastric disturbances compared to the dietary change from grass to hay.

Read the full article here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post Change In Diet From Grass To Hay Hard On Horse’s Hindgut appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.