Cold-Temperature Insult to Equine Feed to Assess the Bioavailability of Nutrients
Specialized feeds are produced for certain groups of horses such a seniors, reproducing mares and foals, active athletes, ponies, and easy-to maintain horses. These feeds have additives such as electrolytes and minerals, along with varying percentages of sugar, fat, fiber, and protein. Each feed is supposedly different from the other in terms of ingredients and nutritional information. However, does each feed react the same way when exposed to different temperatures during storage? Are our horses exposed to different nutrients, and therefore metabolic risks, as a result of the variation of feed provided? In an attempt to answer these questions, I tested four feeds from the same manufacturer, Nutrena. Two grains are "original" formulas and two grains are "senior" formulas, and each pair is from a different line of grain: SafeChoice and ProForce. In this thesis project, chemical extractions of nutrients such as water, lipids/fats, and carbohydrates provide information that can suggest similarities and differences among the grain. More importantly, the extractions after a cold-temperature insult, defined as a freezer, to mimic seasonal temperature in the winter, provide data that may suggest a secondary verdict to the influx of equine metabolic disorders and diseases.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Equine studies, Horses, Nutrition