Evaluation of the feeding time and reactivity of foals to the introduction of unknown objects in the feeder during feeding
: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feeding time and reactivity of foals to the introduction of unknown objects in the feeder together with the concentrate. Eleven foals were used, five females and six males, with ages between 10 and 12 months. The animals were housed in Coast Cross pasture and fed with concentrate, made with soybean meal, wheat bran and core, given to supply 20% of their nutritional requirement. Time of consumption without and with the objects (plastic balls) was recorded for three consecutive days and the means were calculated. Behavioral observations were made during the time the objects were placed in the feeders, and scores were assessed to three behavioral variables. There was an effect (p<0.05) of gender on the feeding time of the concentrate, both without and with the object, with a shorter time for females. No gender effect (p>0.05) was observed for the variables Position of Eyes, Position of the Ears, Vocalization and Snorting. Moving objects in the feeder do not increase or decrease feeding time. Females consume the concentrate with and without the objects faster than males, which show greater reactivity and alertness.