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Brandberg, Caroline, 2017. Hästars liggbeteende i box och ligghall : en jämförande studie utförd på Ridskolan Strömsholm. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

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Abstract

Group-housing of horses is getting more popular in Sweden due to the advantages for horses and keepers, and therefor it’s important to investigate how environment and available space affects horses’ lying behaviour.

Horses are highly social animals living in groups in the wild and studies has revealed that group-housing of horses has a lot of advantages and have positive effects on both behaviour and physics of horses. In a few studies a correlation between single-housing, together with limited opportunities to search for food, and stereotypic behaviours has been seen.

Horses can often be seen sleeping while standing up, but to get into REM-sleep it’s necessary for them to lay down with the head against the surface.

The aim of this study was to see if horses’ lying-behaviours and lying-time differs between single- and group-housing and if the size of the lying area matters. Hypothesis further aim was to evaluate if measurements in the Swedish legislation were too restrictive regarding the size of the lying-area when horses are group-housed. I hypnotized that the horses would lay down more when single-housed than group-housed, that they would lay down more when the size of the lying-area was expanded and that the horses would disturb each other more when having a smaller lying space when group-housed.

Three different housing treatments were used, either the horses where kept single in boxes, they were group-housed with a lying area of 8m2/horse as is the legislation minimum -and lastly the horses were group-housed with a lying-area of 18m2/horse.

The results showed that there were significant differences between the different systems in several aspects of the lying behaviour. Example.g., total time spent lying down, horses lay down least in the small size group lying area. However, time spent lying on the chest with the head against the surface or in the time spent lying on the side did not differ significantly. But there was a tendency to spend less total time with the head against the surface in the small size group lying area. Overall it seems like the horses got their REM-sleep in all housing but, due to the tendency, we cannot exclude the possibility that some horses did not get their need of REM-sleep satisfied. The results also showed significant differences in disturbances amongst the systems, but this difference wasn’t as expected that the horses would disturb each other more when they had a smaller area, they were actually disturbing each other more when they had more space.

The conclusion of this study is that there are differences in lying behaviours between single- and group-hosing, and between different sizes of lying-area when group-housed, but also that it overall seems like they get their need of REM-sleep satisfied in all treatments.

Main title:Hästars liggbeteende i box och ligghall
Subtitle:en jämförande studie utförd på Ridskolan Strömsholm
Authors:Brandberg, Caroline
Supervisor:Yngvesson, Jenny and Kjellberg, Linda
Examiner:Anderson, Claes
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:701
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:häst, liggbeteende, etologi, djurvälfärd, hästvälfärd
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-6584
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-6584
Subjects:Animal husbandry
Animal ecology
Language:Swedish
Deposited On:12 Jul 2017 12:39
Metadata Last Modified:12 Jul 2017 12:39

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