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Extension > Horse Extension - Research Updates > Slowing grain consumption

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Slowing grain consumption

Using obstacles in the feed bucket increased feed intake time.

Summarized by K. Martinson, PhD, University of Minnesota

The rapid intake of grain diets high in soluble carbohydrates can result in increased blood insulin and possible problems with insulin sensitivity and laminitis. Simply slowing feed consumption may reduce blood insulin levels. This was the objective researchers from North Carolina State University set out to investigate.

To investigate the time of grain consumption, four treatments were evaluated: 1) a control; 2) adding four bocce balls to the grain bucket; 3) inserting a waffle-type plate at the bottom on the grain bucket; and 4) wetting down the grain prior to feeding. Time of grain consumption and post-feeding blood insulin samples were taken.

The bocce balls and waffle insert increased time to feed consumption compared to the control and wetted feed. The bocce ball treatment also reduced the concentration of blood insulin compared to all other treatments.

The use of obstacles in a feed bucket effectively increased feed intake time, which resulted in decreased insulin concentrations post-feeding.

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