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Nilsson, Erika and Sandell, Vanja, 2016. Ättider av hösilage hos aktivt grupphållna hästar jämfört med uppstallade hästar på box. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry



According to the evolution, the horse has developed to an herbivore that lives in herds on the plains. Despite the domestication the natural behavior of the horse has not changed. The gastro-intestinal tract is adapted to processing grass from grazing approximately 14-16 hours of the day. In the natural the horse doesn't make longer feeding gaps than three to four hours. If possible, ad libitum feeding of forage to the horse would be preferred to allow the horse to follow its own rhythm and begin to feed when it still have some feed in their digestive system.
In new housing systems, such as Active Stable™, the feed is rationed by controlling the feeding time of roughage. Consequently, we need more information on the time horses spend to feed a set amount of roughage. Problems that can arise when the time is overestimated are fatness and laminitis or if the feeding time is underestimated it can lead to ulcers, stress and stereotypies.
The aim of the study is to measure the horse individual feeding time of roughage to find a way to give the horses in active group housing system the right feeding rations.
The study has two main questions. How much do the feeding times differ between individuals and within individual? How large variations of feeding times are there between horses housed in an Active group system compared to horses housed in single boxes?
The study has three hypotheses. There are variations of the feeding times within an individual. There is variation between the feeding times of different individuals. Horses in the active group housing system have longer feeding time than the horses in the single boxes.
In total a number of 20 warmblood geldings were studied; ten horses from an Active Stable™ and ten from individual boxes. The 20 horses were divided into three sub-groups of six horses in the first two groups and eight horses in the last group. The measurements were performed on eight days for each group. Each group with horses stood lined up beside each other, and then two of the horses got a bag of three kilo haylage each. The feedings times were clocked on each individual during 20 minutes. After ten minutes the haybags were weighed and then the bags were put back to the horses for the remaining ten minutes.
The range of feeding time within an individual varied from 1.1 minutes to 43.5 minutes. There were a wider range within the group of horses in boxes than the Active Stable™. Feeding time varied between the individuals. For both groups feeding time varied during the 20 minutes so that the first 10 minute period were significantly shorter than the second ten minute period. Horses in the Active group have according to the results a shorter feeding time compered to horses in single boxes. There are significant differences (p<0.015) between horses in active group and horses in single boxes.
In conclusion, there were variations in the feeding time between individuals per kg dry matter. The rate of feeding was faster in the beginning of a given ratio. Horses in active group housing had a shorter feeding time compered to horses in boxes.
The hypothesis "there are variations within individuals" and "between the individuals feeding time" were accepted. The hypothesis "horses in the active group housing system have longer feeding time between the horses in the single boxes" could neither be accepted or rejected even though there was a significant difference. This hypothesis needs further investigation with larger groups of horses.

Main title:Ättider av hösilage hos aktivt grupphållna hästar jämfört med uppstallade hästar på box
Authors:Nilsson, Erika and Sandell, Vanja
Supervisor:Morgan, Karin and Kjellberg, Linda
Examiner:Roepstorff, Lars
Series:Examensarbete på kandidatnivå / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för veterinärmedicin och husdjursvetenskap, Hippologenheten
Volume/Sequential designation:K51
Year of Publication:2016
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
Keywords:ättider, grovfoder, inhysning, aktiv grupphästhållning
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Animal feeding
Deposited On:03 May 2016 07:10
Metadata Last Modified:03 May 2016 07:10

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