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Author (up) Streit,, S.; Zeitler-Feicht, M.H.; Dempfle, L. pdf  openurl
  Title Automatic feeding systems versus feeding stalls for horses kept in groups: visiting frequency, stress situations and risk of injury Type Conference Article
  Year 2008 Publication IESM 2008 Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Abstract When keeping horses in run-out sheds, feeding stalls are usually recommended for individual feeding; which allows equine typical simultaneous eating. However, automatic feeding devices for hay and concentrates are being increasingly used, and these do not allow simultaneous eating. This research aims to compare visiting frequency, stress situations, and the risk of injury, in the area of automatic feeding systems with those at feeding stalls. The studies were carried out at 10 stables with feeding stalls and at 11 with automatic feeding systems for hay and concentrates. These stables were otherwise similar regarding the keeping of the horses and the management of the facilities. Each group consisted of 8 to 21 horses, with 260 horses taking part in total. Every group was observed for 6 sessions, each of 4 hours. These 6 sessions together made 24 hours, a complete day.

Horses in stables with feeding stalls visited the feeding area (waiting area, the station, exit area) 45.5 ± 27.3 times on average in 24 hours, and in stables with automatic feeders for hay and concentrates, 93.1 ± 53.5 times. This difference was significant. Threatening behaviour, without risk of injury or with risk of injury, occurred significantly more frequently in stables with automatic feeders (9.6 ± 12.9 times and 4.2 ± 5.5 times respectively per 24 hours and horse) than in stables with feeding stalls (6.0 ± 10.4 times and 1.5 ± 3.3 times respectively per 24 hours and horse). The management of the stable, however, proved to have its most important influence on the behaviour of the horses.

Displacement activities were observed in stables with feeding stalls 0.3 ± 1.0 times per horse and 24 hours and in stables with automatic feeders for hay and concentrate 12.9 ± 23.3 times. Situations that could cause either stress or injuries to the horses occurred in stables with feeding stalls within 24 hours per horse only 3.7 ± 13.1 and 1.3 ± 4.8 times on average respectively. Such situations were to be seen in stables with automatic feeder 17.0 ± 33.4 and 8.6 ± 15.3 times respectively per horse and 24 hours – clearly more often.

We may therefore conclude that the more often the feeding area is visited, the more frequently threatening gestures without and with risk of injury occur. The same goes for the number of situations that may result in stress or injuries. Therefore to sum up it can be said that feeding in feedings stalls leads to less risk of stress and injuries compared with feeding by computer controlled systems. On the other hand, computer controlled systems have the advantage of stimulating the horses to move, which is very important for their health. While assessing this study it should be taken into account that there were very big individual differences between the horses. The result of the statistical evaluation was that the management of the stable has a decisive influence on the observed features. Therefore both feeding systems can be recommended, especially as the number of conflicts in the feeding area in all stables was relatively low and no injuries were observed in connection with the feeding.
  Address , Lehrstuhl für Ökologischen Landbau, AG Ethologie, Tierhaltung und Tierschutz, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan der Technischen Universität München  
  Corporate Author Streit, S. Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference IESM 2008  
  Notes Talk 15 min IESM 2008 Approved yes  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 4479  
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