Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 10/02/98; 2:00:00PM.

Equine Statistics

We just got the Blue Book from the US Department of Agriculture--Part 1: Baseline Reference of 1998 Equine Health and Management, dated August 1998. If you like charts and graphs, this is for you! For information on the National Animal Health Monitoring System or the Equine `98 Study, contact:

Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health
555 South Howes, Fort Collins, CO 80521
Telephone: (970) 490-8000
Internet: NAHMSinfo@usda.gov
World Wide Web: http://www.aphis.gov/vs/ceah/cahm

For this study, "equid" was defined as "horses, miniature horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, and burros." Here are some excerpts from the study:

  • Demographics--78.6% of operations had five or fewer horses in 1997. 3.7% of operations had 20 or more horses. The primary use of "equids" on 66.8% of operations was pleasure. The percentage of intact males was larger for miniature horses; Quarter Horses represented the largest percentage (39.5%) of horses by breed in all regions.

  • Health and Health Management--73.8% of operations used the services of a veterinarian at least once in 1997. 55.6% of operations did not have a dental care provider. The total cost of EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia) to the industry was over $34 million. Equids were not vaccinated on nearly 40% of operations. Operation personnel administered the majority of dewormers on 70.3% of operations. About 27% obtained dewormers from veterinarians.

  • Births, Illnesses, and Deaths--The mortality rate for foals in the first 30 days of life was 3.6% with almost one half of deaths occurring in the first 2 days. More foals were born on pasture than in stalls. Approximately 1/3 of operations with live foal births had a veterinarian examine new born foals in the first 48 hours of life, 3/4 treated foal's navels, and about 1/3 routinely gave the foal an enema in the first 48 hours. 17.5% of deaths for equids 30 or more days of age was from colic.

  • Nearly 90% of the equine population were horses, over 5% were ponies, and fewer than 3% each were miniature horses, mules, and donkeys or burros. Percent of Horses by Breed, 1997 (other than race tracks): Quarter Horse, 39.5%; Thoroughbred, 10.2%; Other (registered), 9.1%; Other (not registered), 9%; Arabian, 7.8%; Appaloosa, 5.9%; Paint, 5.4%; Draft breed, 4.8%; Tennessee Walker, 4.8%; Standardbred, 3.5%.

  • Only 11% of operations rated the World Wide Web/Internet as a very or somewhat important source, while 61.9% indicated they did not have acces to the Web/Internet or that it was not applicable as a source of equine health information. Nearly four our of ten operations with one or two equids did not use any services of a veterinarian during the year.z

  • Percent Horses by Region, Western Region: Appaloosa, 6.4%; Arabian, 10.1%; Draft Breed, 2%; Paint, 5.1%; Standardbred, 0.9%; Tennessee Walker, 1.5%; Thoroughbred, 10.1%; Quarter Horse, 45%; Other (registered), 7.1%; Other (not registered), 11.8%.

  • Ways operations maintained equine health records: Computerized (3.5%); Handwritten, card/log (19.3%); Handwritten, calendar (25.2%); Veterinarian maintained (14.6%); None (37.4%). In 1-2 equid operations, 47.5% kept no health records; in 3-5 equid operations, 31.4% kept no records; in 6-19 equid operations, 28.9% kept no records; but in operations of 20 or more equids, 90.6% KEPT health records.

  • Recently Horse Previews Magazine has had repeated inquiries about Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). This study has plenty of data on that. Likewise, the data on vaccinations and deworming is there.

  • Appendix II: 1992 Census--Horses and Ponies reveals the U.S. Inventory of Horses and Ponies on Farms and the number of farms reporting horses and ponies. A "farm" is defined as any place that produced and sold $1,000 or more in agricultural products or had at least five horses. In Washington State there were reported 51,100 head on 7,900 farms. These are the best numbers USDA will publish until February 1999 and estimates may exclude over 1/2 the horse population.

    Horse Previews Magazine

    Edited from the Report

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