Kentucky Equine Research Inc.

DHA Positively Affects Semen Quality

Various supplements are commonly given to breeding stallions in hopes of improving semen quality, but conflicting reports exist on their effectiveness. Researchers have found, however, that the supplement ingredient DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, does have a positive affect on semen quality.

Feeding to Achieve a Moderate Body Condition

Every horseperson has seen the telltale signs of a thin horse: the disproportionately skinny neck, the protruding spine, the row of ribs, and the jutting hipbones. Thanks in part to advances made in feeding management, veterinary care, parasite control, and dentistry, educated caretakers can fatten horses safely and easily. But when is it time to switch f...

Fescue: A Danger to Pregnant Mares

In many parts of the world horse pastures contain a fair percentage of fescue, a hardy perennial grass that thrives despite heavy hoof traffic, intense grazing, and adverse growing conditions. Unfortunately, there's a drawback: 75% of all fescue is infected with the endophyte Acremonium coenophialum.

Bran Mash: What's it Really Good For?

During the colder months, many horse owners go on a quest for wheat bran, probably so that they can make their four-legged friends a bran mash--a warm treat for horses on frosty winter days. Aside from the obvious, what's in a bran mash? And what is it meant to do?.

Hay Cubes as Alternative Forage Source

Imagine you're standing in the loft of your barn, lamenting the dwindling supply of hay. Snow and ice storms have made the trek to the regional hay sale nearly impossible. On the first clear sale day, you hook the fifth wheel to the truck and head off to the auction, hoping to bag a load of good-quality forage. When you arrive, however, there's no...

Heart Problems in Horses

The circulatory system (heart and blood vessels) and respiratory system (lungs and airway) work together to provide oxygen throughout the horse's body, and to transport waste material from the horse's tissues. During exercise, the circulatory and respiratory systems are the mechanisms that allow the horse's musculoskeletal system (bones, conne...

Neuroaxonal Dystrophy in Horses

Neuroaxonal dystrophy (NAD) is a degenerative central nervous system disease of horses, humans, and other animals. Horses affected with NAD usually appear dull or depressed with weakness and mild to severe gait abnormalities (ataxia) that affect all four limbs, although the hind limbs are usually more severely affected. Clinical signs of NAD are usually f...

Antioxidants for Top Performance

Oxidation is a normal metabolic process that allows horses to transform the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins they devour in meals into energy. An unavoidable side effect of oxidation is the creation of free radicals—compounds that have the potential to irreparably damage cells. Free radicals are particularly harmful to the cell membranes (structure...

Dirt an Important Source of Iron for Horses

Horses constantly ingest dirt when they graze. While excessive dirt consumption sometimes causes problems such as sand accumulation in the large intestine, the dirt that horses normally consume while grazing supplies some essential nutrients--most notably iron. Forages and grains contain additional dietary iron for horses.

Refeeding Malnourished Horses

Few sights are more tragic than malnourished or starved horses. Outright neglect does occur, but not all underweight horses are victims of abuse. Horses might be recovering from serious conditions that have led to weight loss, and their owners are doing all they can to help the horse regain its previous condition. Others are being fed regularly, but the f...

Soaking Hay Can Lower Dust Concentrations

For horses that are sensitive to inhaled irritants, eating hay can be a problem. Even the cleanest, highest-quality hay is likely to contain a moderate amount of fine material. When a horse plunges his head into a pile of hay or pulls mouthfuls out of a haynet, he inhales countless small particles of dust, mold spores, and fibrous plant material. Collecti...

Equine Metabolic Syndrome a Focus of Research

The Equine Science Society Symposium (ESS) is a gathering place for researchers involved in all aspects of equine health and well-being. For more than two decades, Kentucky Equine Research (KER) has presented findings from its nutrition and exercise physiology studies. At this year's event, more than 160 studies were presented at this symposium in the are...

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