Many horses like the taste of peppermint and apple, and oftentimes these flavors are added to the feed and medicines in an effort to make them more palatable. Jesse Francis, a graduate student at Southern Illinois University, was curious about other flavors horses preferred, so she created a study to determine which oil-based flavorings horses preferred most.
Francis used 10 mature horses and fed them a pelleted feed that had one of six flavors on top: anise, apple, banana, orange, peppermint, and spearmint. She used corn oil control as a control, reports The Horse.
Horses were allowed 15 seconds to sniff the top-dressed feed, then three minutes to consume the one(s) they preferred. She found that horses selected anise most often (65 percent of the time), and banana and orange least often (30 and 35 percent of the time). Horses in the study chose plain corn oil control over the orange-flavored feed.
The top three flavors the horses chose were anise, apple and peppermint. Francis then used the same study design and had the horses choose which of those three flavors they preferred. Anise was the most-consumed flavor, even more than apple or peppermint.
Read more at The Horse.
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