Phosphorus Runoff A Concern In Equine Manure Management

Proper manure management is of critical concern to keep the environment surrounding horse farms healthy; runoff is a dire concern as it can contaminate waterways for miles. Phosphorous contamination of waterways has become a concern as horses excrete excess phosphorous through their manure; manure in pastures and paddocks are hot spots for manure runoff, reports HorseTalk.

Phosphorous is important to horses for the formation of bone, and in fat and energy metabolism. Finnish researchers Drs. Markku Saastamoinen, Susanna Särkijärvi and Elisa Valtonen wanted to determine if feeding regimens influenced phosphorous digestibility and excretion, which would determine the environmental impact of these management decisions.

The research team used six horses on forage-based diets; they collected all manure each horse excreted. The diets of each horse were as follows: hay only; haylage only; 80 percent hay with the rest in whole oats; 65 percent hay with the rest in whole oats; 80 percent hay with the rest in a commercial pelleted feed; and 65 percent hay with the rest in a commercial pelleted feed. Each horse, except those on a complete pelleted feed, was fed a mineral balancer that contained monocalcium phosphate.

Each diet resulted in a positive phosphorus balance; the digestibility varied from 2.7 to 11.1 percent. Supplementing the forage-diets with concentrates improved phosphorous digestibility slightly. Horses on the hay-only diet excreted the least amount of phosphorous, but the average phosphorous excretion is nearly 17 pounds a year, 88 percent of which is soluble and the most concern as it could leach into waterways.

Care should be taken with regards to the diets of mature horses in light work to decrease the excretion of phosphorous as phosphorous intake is directly related to excretion, the researchers noted.

Read the full study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post Phosphorus Runoff A Concern In Equine Manure Management appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.