There is a considerable economic impact of horses globally due to the use of sporting and leisure activities, which warrants increased scientific research on performance, feeding and welfare. Nutrition is an important aspect of welfare, not only to provide adequate nutrition to meet requirements, but also for the ability to search and select foods. There is little known about foraging motivations and diet-selection mechanisms of horses. Therefore current research conducted by Mariette is aimed to explore patch foraging behaviour and the selection of different types of food. This knowledge could particular contribute to current feeding management of horses in confinement and grazing systems.
In this workshop Mariette will present a summary of her latest research work and it will also touch on a research program from the US named BEHAVE. BEHAVE (behavioural education for human, animal, vegetation and ecosystem management) is a research and outreach program that explores the principles of animal behaviour. The primary focus is on diet and habitat selection of grazing animals. Understanding how animals learn will enable us to train animals to fit our landscapes rather than having to modify our landscapes to fit our animals. Using grazing as a tool will reduce our use of expensive machinery, fossil fuels and toxic herbicides. By understanding how animals learn we can use their natural behaviours to manage weeds, enhance biodiversity, improve feeding systems, minimize use of riparian areas and much more.
RSVP by COB Wednesday 18 February 2015 Free for Mitchell and Surrounds Equine Landcare Group members – MSELG memberships available on the day $25 (per property). Non-members $25. Lunch provided
- 08:30 – 9:00 – Registration
- 09:00 – 10:15 – Introduction, What is BEHAVE, What is foraging behaviour
- 10:15 – 10:35 – Coffee/tea break
- 10:35 – 12:30 – Dietary experience, Palatability, Variety
- 12:30 – 13:00 – Lunch
- 13:00 – 15:00 – Variety, Grazing & Plant Behaviour, How does this information extend to the management of horses?
- 15:00 – Q& A, Close