The effect of wearing a grazing muzzle vs. not wearing a grazing muzzle on intakes of spring, summer and autumn pastures by ponies
Intakes were determined in four mature ponies, grazing spring, summer and autumn pastures on four, 3 hour occasions per pony per season when fitted with or without a grazing muzzle. Pasture intakes were determined by change in liveweight (LW) over the 3 hour grazing period, after accounting for insensible weight loss (ISWL) and weight of excreta. Ponies were prevented from drinking during the 3 hour grazing period. Pastures were sampled daily mid-way through the grazing period for determination of DM. Wearing grazing muzzles reduced pasture dry matter intake (DMI) relative to when grazing muzzles were not fitted by 78, 77 and 83% for spring, summer and autumn pastures respectively.