Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Horses require daily access to forage in order to support their gastrointestinal tract function as well as natural grazing behaviors. Well-managed pasture provides horses with a consistent forage source and diminishes health risks such as colic, ulcers and stereotypies. However, equine grazing behaviors are more intense than other livestock and may be detrimental to plant and soil health. A grazing management technique specifically for horses is necessary to prevent both health and environmental issues. The following dissertation explores both the movement of required maintenance elements, such as feed, shelter, and water, as well as the manipulation of feeding frequency and mechanism to deliberately distribute equine activities within an equine pasture environment. Both considerations were evaluated via Global Positioning System units to determine location within respect to feed, shelter and water and scan-sampling to categorize grazing and non-grazing behaviors. It was determined that frequent movement of the feeding element may also distribute horse activities accordingly and become an efficient pasture management technique. Feeding frequency and mechanism was found to also distribute equine location with the most influential component being manual, twice daily feeding of a concentrated hay balancer.
Perron, Brittany, "Evaluation of Grazing Techniques as a Nutrition Source for Horses in a Pasture Environment" (2022). All Dissertations. 3004.