Abstract

An online survey on demographics and feeding management of Miniature horses in New Zealand was conducted using the Qualtrics Survey Software. There were 232 valid responses from respondents who kept 1183 Miniature horses, representing ~ ⅓rd of the New Zealand Miniature horse population. Miniature horses were kept for leisure and companionship (56%), competition (35%) and for breeding (7%). The majority (79%) of Miniature horses were kept at pasture on low (< 1000 kg DM/ha) to moderate (~ 2000 kg DM/ha) pasture masses across seasons. Pasture access was more commonly restricted by respondents during spring (60%), summer (60%), and autumn (55%) than in winter (43%). Most respondents (87%) practiced pasture-restriction strategies such as strip grazing, use of a paddock with little grass, and stabling/yarding. Respondents indicated the mode daily number of hours of stabling was 7-12 hours (n=57/195, 29%). The median stocking density was 10 horses/ha, (~1100 kg live weight/ha). The stocking density appeared high, however, on a live weight basis, it was comparable to the reported values in other classes of equine livestock.

SY, Goh, EK Gee, DG Thomas, PJ Back, and CW Rogers

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 80, Online, 1-7, 2020
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