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Vikberg, Matilda and Fredriksson, Karin, 2015. Hästars aktivitet och liggtid på madrasserade gummimattor i box. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (until 231231)



Sleep is essential for all mammals and they all have different sleep patterns. Wild horses normally spend 2-8.5% of a 24-hour period in recumbent position while stabled horses lie down 11-20%. To fulfil the need of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep the horse must lie down with support against the ground for the head. The lying behavior can be affected by external stimuli such as age, food intake, bedding materials and if the horses feel safe or not. This study investigates the lying behavior of horses on different bedding materials; wood shavings and filled rubber mats (HIT SoftBed®). Active Stable® promotes a housing system for loose barns and stables with filled rubber mats, HIT SoftBed®, as an economic and comfortable alternative to classic bedding materials such as wood shaving or straw. Studies have shown that horses prefer to lie down on traditional bedding materials in comparison to no bedding material. Scientists suggest that lack of sleep can affect the welfare of horses. Filled rubber mats are a relatively new product on the market, therefor there is a need for studies which investigates if the bedding material implicates the horses lying behavior.

The aim of this study is to investigate if the time horses spend recumbent and their lying behavior is different on filled rubber mats in comparison to wood shavings. The research questions are “Do horses lie down for a longer time on wood shaving as compared to filled rubber mats?” and “Do horses lie down in various length of time in sternal recumbence respectively lateral recumbence on wood shaving as compared to filled rubber mats?” The hypotheses of this study are “The horses total time spent lying down is longer on wood shavings as against filled rubber mats” and “The time horse spend in lateral recumbence is longer on wood shavings compared to filled rubber mats”.

Eight mares were filmed during three 24-hour periods in a cross-over study in single boxes. The following behaviors were registered by frequency; time spent lying down, standing active, standing passive, searching food/eating, time outside the box and tied up in the box. Time horses spent in sternal and lateral recumbence were registered continuously.

The results showed that there was a significant difference in the time the horses spent lying down (p<0.001) on wood shavings compared to filled rubber mats. There were also significant differences between the behaviors standing passively, time spent eating or searching food and time tied up in the box (p<0.05) between the bedding materials. The conclusion of this study showed that the horses lie down a longer time on wood shavings. Time spent in sternal position was significant longer (p<0.05) on wood shaving compared to filled rubber mats. There were no significant differences in time spent in lateral recumbence.

Main title:Hästars aktivitet och liggtid på madrasserade gummimattor i box
Authors:Vikberg, Matilda and Fredriksson, Karin
Supervisor:Kjellberg, Linda
Examiner:Morgan, Karin
Series:Examensarbete på kandidatnivå / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för veterinärmedicin och husdjursvetenskap, Hippologenheten
Volume/Sequential designation:K46
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK004 Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (until 231231)
Keywords:välfärd, underlag, liggperioder, dygnsrytm
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:01 Jul 2015 13:23
Metadata Last Modified:01 Jul 2015 13:23

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