Understanding and managing variable starch digestion in the horse




Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

University of New England

Objective Summary

To demonstrate that under commercial training conditions those horse fed diets likely to produce extensive fermentation of starch in the hindgut have more problems with respect to health adverse behaviour and poor performance than similar animals fed diets likely to produce little or no fermentable starch for hindgut fermentation. The research will focus on identifying simple measurements that can be made on individual horses to determine their ability to digest starch efficiently so that diets can beobjectively tailored for the requirements and ability of each horse. To investigate combinations of exogenous enzymes (amylase and amylogucosidase) to ensure that starch is completely digested in the small intestine prior to the hindgut. The major outcome will be to have clear evidence that hindgut starch fermentation is highly undesirable and to have practical cost effective methods of overcoming the problem.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Friday, May 30, 2003

Project Completion Date

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

An environmentally sustainable Australia

National Priority

Soil, water and managing natural resources

National Priority

HOR-Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites in horses