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Hübinette, Louise, 2010. Effects of peat and wood shavings as bedding on the faecal microflora of horses. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management



The main purpose of this study was to determine the impact of bedding material on the faecal microflora of horses. Another objective was to investigate the hygienic and physical qualities of the bedding materials used and how these may change in the course of the trial period. The bedding materials used were sphagnum peat and wood shavings. Six horses had each material as bedding for a three week period in a change–over experiment. The horses’ ration of roughage was distributed directly on top of the bedding. Faecal samples were collected weekly for measuring of pH and for Terminal restriction length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis. T-RFLP analysis is a PCR based method were the size of 16S rRNA fragments are determined in order to study microbial communities. Samples of bedding material were collected at the start up an end of each period and sent for hygienic analysing. Samples of the haylage fed to the horses were collected weekly and sent for analysis as one sample per period. Samples were also taken from both materials in the beginning and end of each period for determination of pH, dry matter and water holding capacity. Registrations of indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity were done on a daily basis.

Bedding material did not influence the faecal pH. The T-FRLP analysis did not show any impact from bedding material on the microflora. Peat had significantly higher water holding capacity compared to wood shavings. Penicillium spp. was the most common mould found in peat and wood shavings. There was no difference in number of aerobic bacteria, yeasts, moulds and thermophilic fungi between peat and wood shavings. The number of aerobic bacteria had increased significantly in both bedding materials in the end of the periods. In conclusion, bedding material does not influence the faecal microflora with the conditions given in this study.

Main title:Effects of peat and wood shavings as bedding on the faecal microflora of horses
Authors:Hübinette, Louise
Supervisor:Jansson, Anna
Examiner:Lindberg, Jan Erik
Series:Examensarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård
Volume/Sequential designation:295
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:1010A Agriculture Programme (admitted before July 1, 2007) 270 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Keywords:horses, faecal microflora, faecal pH, bedding material
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Deposited On:21 May 2010 11:19
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:12

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