Nov: Equine Behavior Short Course

October 9, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is excited to offer a three-night educational series this fall on topics related to equine behavior. All three sessions will be held at the Paradee Center, Kent County Extension Office in Dover, Delaware from 6:30-8:30 pm. A registration fee and advanced registration will be required. Light refreshments and take-home materials will be included as part of the registration fee.

Night 1 on Monday, November 5 will focus around the theme of “Foundations of Equine Behavior” and will cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, the workings of the equine brain, normal or natural equine behavior and learning terminology and how horses learn.

Night 2 on Wednesday, November 7 will focus around the theme of “Handling Behavior Problems” and will cover topics such as stereotypies and dealing with common equine behavior issues. This evening will feature a special guest lecturer, Dr. Sue McDonnell from the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, a nationally known researcher and speaker on equine behaviors.

Night 3 on Wednesday, November 14 will focus around the theme of “Working Effectively with Equine Behavior” and will cover topics such as positive versus negative reinforcement, a review of current training approaches and common equine welfare concerns.

Interested individuals may attend just one or all three of the sessions. For more information please contact Susan Garey at (302) 730-4000 or Dr. Carissa Wickens at

For additional information and to register for this program, please visit the UD Cooperative Extension Equine Blog at

If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, Delaware Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin.


Livestock, Animal Preparations for Hurricane Irene

August 25, 2011 under CANR News

Livestock experts from the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Delaware Department of Agriculture are encouraging livestock and animal owners to consider preparations for Hurricane Irene.  Updates will be posted here on CANR Connect and on the DDA homepage.

DDA has issued this press release in regards to livestock preparations:

Information for poultry growers is posted here:

Tips for companion animal (pet) owners is available here:


The Delaware State Fair is accepting horses for sheltering during the hurricane. There are a limited number of stalls, so you must call ahead prior to taking your horse(s).  FAIRGROUNDS PHONE NUMBER    302-398-3269  EXTENSION 203

Horse owners with low-lying pastures or barns or who expect flooding may consider moving horses off their property. If you are not expecting flooding of your animal area, or if you have high ground to which you can move your horses, please consider sheltering the horses in place (where they normally live).  If your horses are housed near coastal waters, and you are thinking about evacuating your home, you must call the fairgrounds BEFORE loading your horses.

The fairgrounds will be providing only stalls for the horses that are shelterd there. If you call the fairgrounds and they have room for your horse, you must bring your own bedding and feed for your horses. There will not be any feed or bedding at the fairgrounds for you to use.

If you wish to stay at the fairgrounds, that will be allowed. You will need to arrange your own care for your horses. There will not be anyone at the fairgrounds to care for your horses. You will need to take care of your own horses by giving them feed, bedding, and water every day. If you do not have anyone to care for your horses at the fairgrounds, DO NOT take them to the fairgrounds.

Additional equine resources will be posted and updated on UD’s Extension Equine blog.


Cooperative Extension Equine Program conducts needs assessment survey

December 15, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension Equine Program is conducting a statewide “Equine Needs Assessment Survey” with the purpose of identifying the educational needs of the local equine community.

Carissa Wickens, Cooperative Extension equine specialist and assistant professor of animal science, says, “Participants in the Delaware Equine Educational Needs Assessment Survey will be asked to identify topics with which they need assistance and/or would like to learn more about.

“Additional questions will focus on the types of program formats and resources in which the equine community is most interested. Participants will also be asked to report on management practices currently implemented on their farms/with their horses.”

The UD Cooperative Extension faculty and staff will use the gathered information to “facilitate the development of effective, science-based, equine education programs and resources aimed at improving the management and enjoyment of equine,” Wickens says.

Participation in the survey will be voluntary and anonymous.

For more information on the Equine Program or for an on-line version of the survey, visit the UD Cooperative Extension equine blog.

This article can also be viewed online on UDaily.


UD helps keep jockeys race ready

August 30, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Thoroughbred racing requires jockeys to maintain a low body weight, which often causes riders to indulge in unhealthy behaviors such as skipping meals or overeating and purging, especially on the day of a race. These actions can be dangerous for the jockeys, leading to dehydration, loss of concentration, and decrease in mental and physical abilities.

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is continuing its partnership with Delaware Park to research how jockeys eat, and creating a nutritional program that will enhance the jockeys’ performance while supporting a healthy lifestyle.

To educate and protect the riders, Cooperative Extension specialist Sue Snider and her team worked with the jockey health and welfare benefit board at Delaware Park to conduct individual assessments to determine the jockeys’ eating habits and create personalized diet recommendations.

Snider and Nancy Cotugna, professor of nutrition at UD, spent six months surveying the jockeys about their diets and the practices they followed to maintain a low weight. The Cooperative Extension team then created an educational program focusing the importance of eating small amounts of nutritious, low-calorie foods throughout the day to sustain energy.

“The healthy eating practices were based on looking at the actual practices of the jockeys, their need to maintain a weight appropriate for racing, and good nutrition practices,” Snider said. “We looked at the literature, especially recommendations from other counties such as Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.”

Snider said members of the board, along with Robert Colton, president of the Delaware Jockey’s Association, and Wesley Jones, a counselor with the Backstretch Employee Assistance Program, were “extremely helpful in assisting us to understand the jockey’s needs and the restraints under which they work.”

The Cooperative Extension team delivered an educational program at Delaware Park in June that brought jockeys and their families together to discuss food and nutrition.

Cheryl Bush, a Cooperative Extension agent, said the event was meant to facilitate a conversation within the family.

“It’s kind of a taboo subject, jockey weight,” Bush said. “We hoped that by bringing this to the whole family, there would be more discussion between spouses, more pressure on the jockeys to eat better.”

The next step is to look at the food service given to jockeys at Delaware Park and other locations and to make suggestions for more nutritious options. A group of jockeys are assessing what foods they would like to have available in the jockey room for purchase during races.

“This has been a wonderful project,” Snider said. “The jockeys are a great group and have been extremely accepting of us. Their job is extremely demanding and hopefully our suggestions will help their performance and overall well-being.”

Read the full story on UDaily by clicking here.


August 24: Equine Pasture Walk at UD

July 23, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Horse enthusiasts are invited to attend an “Equine Pasture Walk” on August 24th from 6 to 8 p.m. on the University of Delaware’s Webb Farm. 

Learn about trees and plants that are toxic to horses and weed management options. See a demonstration on how to assess vegetative cover in your pastures and learn what horse owners can do in the fall to prepare for spring. Experts will be on hand from the University of Delaware and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to answer your questions!

NM (.5), Pesticide (1), and CCA (1.5) credits will be available!

This meeting is free and everyone interested in attending is welcome. Please bring with you a folding chair. The event will occur rain or shine. To register or request more information, or if you require special needs assistance for this meeting, please call our office in advance at (302) 831-1340. Call to register by August 17th!