On March 25, 1988, 67 wild horses were started
on a field study for Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc., of Salt Lake City,
Utah. The purpose of this study was to determine what effect, if any,
the addition of Ration Plus™
For Horses would have on the overall nutritional
plane of a group of stressed horses. These horses had just been received
at the Wild Horse Training Facility, Los Lunas Correctional Center,
Los Lunas, New Mexico. The Bureau of Land Management had contracted
with the New Mexico Department of Corrections for the gentling and halter
breaking of these wild horses. They came from the BLM's Wild Horse Holding
Facility in Lovelock, Nevada where they had recently been gathered off
the Nevada Desert.
Upon arrival the horses were thin, and had
long, dead hair coats, but otherwise were in good condition. The horses
were divided into two groups by a "gate cut", placed in
identical pens next to each other, fed moderate quality alfalfa hay
free choice, and handled the same in every way.
For Horses was dropped on the hay in pen one
every morning after feeding at a rate of 5cc per head. All horses
were individually weighed on a set of portable balance beam scales
and were dewormed with Eqvalan paste after being weighed the third
week of the study. Between the third and fifth weeks, 16 horses were
removed from the study for outside adoption by the public.
There was clearly a marked difference in the
performance between the two groups of horses. The horses that were
treated with Ration
the feed gained an average of 86.3 pounds during the 51 day study.
The horses that were not treated gained an average of 41.4 pounds
during the same period. This represents a weight gain of 108.5% greater
in the treatment group then in the untreated control group. The most
noted difference in the performance of the two groups occurred during
the first week of the study. The treated group gained 4.7 pounds per
day, while the untreated group gained 1.6 pounds per day. As the horses
had just been transported a considerable distance into new facilities
with completely new environmental and nutritional conditions, this
would be the period of highest stress. It appeared to the evaluators
that the group treated with Ration
from the stress of shipment much more rapidly then the untreated control
The weight gains then decreased to a low of
0.4 pounds per head per day for the treated group on week three. The
untreated group lost 0.7 pounds per head per day on week 5. Both groups
increased their weight gains from that point.
It was observed, both on the graph of average
daily gain and from the overall appearance of the horses, that the
treated horses were at least two weeks ahead of the untreated horses.
The horses that were treated with Ration
off their dead hair coats and "filled out" their appearance
approximately two weeks before the untreated horses. From week two
until the end of the study it was apparent that the horses in the
treated group had a much better appearance then the untreated group.
This is a very subjective, but I feel valid observation on the part
of the investigators.
There was not enough diarrhea or respiratory
disease among the horses to note whether or not overall health was