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3. Socio-economic status of horse owners vis-a-vis horse feeding and management in Rajasthan - Yash Pal, R. A. Legha, R. K. Dedar and P. A. Bala
Vet World. 2013; 6(8): 470-475

Aim: To study the socio-economic status, horse feeding and management adopted by horse owners of Rajasthan.

Materials and Methods: Primary data was collected through specially structured proforma by personal interview method from the horse owners of Hanumangarh (50), Churu (42), Jhunjhunu (30) and Jalore (40) districts of Rajasthan, India.

Results: The district (Churu and Jhunjhunu) is mostly rain fed, Hanumangarh is canal-irrigated whereas Jalore is tube well irrigated. Majority of respondents engaged in horse rearing were of other backward class (OBC) & general category. Literacy (%) among the horse owners was more than 80% in Hanumangarh and Jhunjhunu districts, whereas it was less than 50% in Churu and Jalore districts. Majority of the respondents were maintaining other livestock along with the horses. The average dry roughages provided were 4.820.22, 8.1430.348, 5.2670.69 and 6.1050.196kg per horse in Hanumangarh, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Jalore, respectively. The average concentrate offered was 2.810.138, 2.4520.145, 2.9330.160 and 1.9500.200kg per horse in Hanumangarh, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Jalore, respectively. It was observed that horse owners were providing green fodder, dry roughages and concentrate depending up on the availability/production of these items in that region. Majority of horse owners were allowing covering of estrus mares between 3rd and 5th day of estrus. Paucity of quality stallions for covering the mares was observed throughout the area surveyed. The respondents had to pay between Rs. 1100/- to 5100/- as covering fee with no guarantee of conception. Most of mares were rebred during foal heat and majority of the respondents were not aware about the symptoms of estrus mare. Vaccination, insurance and use of disinfectants were not adopted in the study indicating the least awareness among the horse owners about the importance of vaccination, insurance and disinfectants.

Conclusion: Horses were being maintained for ceremonial purposes and breeding, their feeding in terms of fodder (green & dry) and concentrate were observed area specific and were fulfilling the minimum nutrient requirements. There was paucity of true to breed stallions in the areas studied.

Key words: feeding, horse, housing, management, socio economics, Rajasthan