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Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 Emily C. Dickson, William C. Kayser, Christine M. Latham, Jessica L. Leatherwood, 1, Courtney L. Daigle, and Sarah H. White Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, TX ABSTRACT: Equine research and management is contained five horses with access to two GrowSafe limited to single-housing systems if individual ani- bunks (Period 1: n = 4 mares, n = 1 gelding; Period mal intake is to be precisely recorded. Even then, 2: n = 5 geldings); pens 2, 3, and 4 contained one dry forage intake is difficult to quantify accurately horse each with access to one bunk. Horses were due to stomping or mixing hay with fecal matter individually fed 0.25% body weight (BW; dry matter and bedding. In cattle management, GrowSafe [DM] basis) of a commercial concentrate once per Systems (GrowSafe) is a commonly used tool to day and were allowed Coastal bermudagrass hay closely monitor individual animal feeding data in the GrowSafe bunks ad libitum. Although five using radio frequency identification (RFID) tag horses were used in the group-housed (COMP) pen technology. Animals are equipped with a unique to more closely mimic a true group environment, RFID tag that is read by the feed bunks each time only data from horses that experienced both hous- the animal lowers its head into the bunk to con- ing systems (n = 3 mares and n = 3 geldings) were sume feed. The objectives of this pilot study were used for statistical analyses. Hourly (P = 0.008) and 1) to test the feasibility of use of the GrowSafe daily (P = 0.003) durations of hay feeding were system with horses by measuring intake of dry hay higher for NOCOMP compared to COMP horses, and 2) to characterize feeding behaviors of horses and total daily intake (g DM/kg BW) of NOCOMP in an individually housed (without competition) or horses tended to be greater (P = 0.09) than COMP group-housed (with competition) setting. To test horses. Conversely, eating rate (g DM/kg BW/min) the hypothesis that horses would consume more hay was greater (P = 0.04) for COMP compared to when individually (NOCOMP) compared to group- NOCOMP mares but was unaffected by housing housed (COMP), 10 mature Quarter Horses (14 ± in geldings. The GrowSafe system may provide an 1.5 yr) were placed in one of four pens containing opportunity for efficient and effective monitoring GrowSafe feed bunks in a 4-wk crossover design of individual horse feed intake and feeding behav- consisting of two 2-wk treatment periods. Pen 1 ior in group-housing situations in horses. Key words: equine, feeding behavior, GrowSafe January © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Transl. Anim. Sci. 2019.XX:XX–XX doi: 10.1093/tas/txz002 INTRODUCTION Objectively quantifying intake and feeding Corresponding author: email@example.com behavior of horses is a challenge in both research Received August 20, 2018. Accepted January 15, 2019. and management settings. Horses often drop, 1 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 2 Dickson et al. dunk, or trample hay, making it difficult to discern Center (College Station, TX). Prior to this trial, actual intake. In addition, horses are social ani- mares and geldings had been housed together by mals that are commonly housed in groups, which sex at the Texas A&M University Freeman Arena presents an additional challenge to monitoring (College Station, TX) for at least 6 mo. The only individual intake. Group dynamics and social rank- exception is that horse 8 (see later) was a gelding ing affect horses’ feeding decisions (Krüger and that was previously housed with the mares in this Flauger, 2008); thus the manager’s knowledge of study. In order to best mimic a group housing sce- horse dynamics and individual horse consumption nario and due to the number of horses and pens patterns within the group is paramount to evaluat- with GrowSafe bunks available for research at the ing individual health and well-being. time of this trial, pen 1 contained five horses with The development of electronic radio frequency 1.0 m total access to two GrowSafe bunks (Period identification (RFID) systems has enabled research- 1: n = 4 mares, n = 1 gelding [Figure 1A]; Period ers and producers to monitor individual animal 2: n = 5 geldings [Figure 1B]), as pens only con- intake and behavior to more precisely evaluate feed tained a maximum of four GrowSafe bunks. The efficiency and health status (Mendes et al., 2011). two additional horses added to pen 1 to mimic the GrowSafe Systems (GrowSafe) is a feed intake group setting were different for Period 1 and Period acquisition technology that has previously been 2 (i.e., horses 7 and 8 added to pen 1 in Period 1 and validated for monitoring feeding behavior in beef horses 9 and 10 added to pen 1 during Period 2). cattle (Mendes et al., 2011). GrowSafe records feed- For Period 1, horse 7 was a mare (15 yr and 515 kg ing behavior traits such as total intake, frequency BW) and horse 8 was a gelding (13 yr and 405 kg and duration of feeding, and eating rate for each BW) that did not get along with other geldings. For individual animal through the use of RFID tags Period 2, horse 9 and 10 were both geldings (16 and that provide a continuous transmission of data to 19 yr and 531 and 551 kg BW, respectively). Pens a computer located at the facility. 2, 3, and 4 contained one horse each with 0.50 m The objectives of the current pilot study were twofold: 1) determine if GrowSafe could be used in horses to accurately monitor individual horse forage intake, and 2) evaluate differences in feed- ing behavior between individually housed (without competition) or group-housed (with competition) horses. The hypothesis was that group-housed horses that had to compete with other horses for feedstuffs would consume less hay than horses that were individually-housed and did not experience competition for feedstuffs. MATERIALS AND METHODS All care, handling, and sampling of horses were approved by the Texas A&M University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (2016-0282). Horses and Experimental Design Data were collected from six mature Quarter Horses (mean ± SEM; 14 ± 1.8 yr) ranging from 425 to 505 kg, with an average body weight (BW) of 470 ± 3 kg in this crossover study consisting of two 2-wk treatment periods. Horses were placed Figure 1. Schematic of GrowSafe Systems housing pens and feed bunks. (A) Pen 1 contained four mares and one gelding with access to in one of four feedlot pens (12 × 28 m) contain- two feed bunks and pens 2 through 4 contained one gelding each with ing electronic feed bunks (GrowSafe 4000E, access to one feed bunk during treatment period 1. (B) Pen 1 contained GrowSafe System Ltd, Airdrie, Alberta, Canada) five geldings and pens 2 through 4 contained one mare each during at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Systems Research treatment period 2. Translate basic science to industry innovation Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 GrowSafe use in horses 3 total access to one GrowSafe bunk (Period 1: n = 3 Table 1. Nutrient composition of Coastal ber- geldings [Figure 1A]; Period 2: n = 3 mares; [Figure mudagrass hay offered ad libitum to horses in 1B]). Prior to the beginning of the study, horses GrowSafe feed bunks were allowed a 1-wk adjustment period to learn Nutrient Bermudagrass hay how to consume forage out of the GrowSafe bunks. DE, Mcal/kg 1.87 Data collection commenced 7 days after horses Crude fat, % 1.7 were initially placed in GrowSafe pens. Treatments CP, % 9.8 were applied for 2 wk and data were collected for Lysine, % 0.34 the duration of each period. Data from horses that NDF, % 71.8 participated in both treatments (n = 6; three mares, ADF, % 38.3 Ca, % 0.38 three geldings) were used for statistical analysis. P, % 0.20 Therefore, data from horses 7, 8, 9, and 10 were not Zn, ppm 47 included in the dataset. Cu, ppm 10 The goal of this experimental design was to Mn, ppm 83 create and compare two environments: 1) one that mimicked a research setting or performance horse ADF = acid detergent fiber, Ca = calcium; CP = crude protein; Cu = copper; DE = digestible energy, P = phosphorus; Mn = manga- setting where horses may be housed and fed indi- nese; NDF = neutral detergent fiber; Zn = zinc. vidually, and in which horses must not compete for Values presented on a 100% DM basis. feedstuffs (individually housed; NOCOMP), and 2) one that mimicked normal horse herds where social hierarchies and competition for feedstuffs may and collected ranged from approximately 13% affect feeding behavior (group-housed; COMP). to 24% of the hay offered with tossed hay being Horses did not experience an “alone” environment greater in NOCOMP animals (24.1% in NOCOMP that lacked socialization with other horses due to vs. 13.5% in COMP). the pens being adjacent to one another; instead, Horses were evaluated weekly for BW (Tru- the only factor that changed was whether the horse Test, Auckland, New Zealand) and body condition had competition, or not, for access to the forage score. Body condition score was assigned by three bunk. Due to the limited number of GrowSafe pens independent, trained investigators using the 1 to 9 at this facility (four), as well as our desire to have scale described by Henneke et al. (1983), and aver- more than three horses exert social pressure in the aged for each horse. COMP treatment, an additional two horses were added to the COMP treatment to create a group of The GrowSafe System five horses competing for the same feed bunks. The extra horses added to the COMP treatment were The GrowSafe system used in this study con- not used for statistical analysis because they did not sisted of feed bunks equipped with load bars to experience both housing treatments. measure feed disappearance and an antenna located To ensure all daily minimum nutrient require- within each feed bunk to record animal presence ments were met, horses were individually fed 0.25% through the detection of electronic identification BW (dry matter [DM] basis) of a commercial con- (EID) tags. Upon arrival, horses were fitted with centrate once per day between 06:00 and 08:00 rope halters equipped with passive EID tags (Allflex in buckets attached to the fence, which were not USA Inc., Dallas-Fort Worth, TX). Although tra- associated with the GrowSafe bunks. GrowSafe ditionally attached to the ear in cattle studies, EID bunks were filled with Coastal bermudagrass hay tags were secured on the noseband of each horse’s (Cynodon dactylon; nutrient composition pre- halter to ensure that the antenna located within sented in Table 1) twice daily to most closely offer the feed bunk would be able to read each horse’s continuous or ad libitum access to forage. In an unique tag number during feeding events. All feed- attempt to minimize tossing of hay from the bunks ing behavior and intake data were automatically into the space outside of each pen and discour- transmitted wirelessly to data acquisition software age playful feeding habits, hay was chopped using (GrowSafe DAQ, v. 9.25) located at the facility. a Farmhand HG 3040 grinder with a 2″ screen Feeding behavior traits evaluated in this study (AGCO Corporation, Duluth, GA). Any hay that included frequency and duration of bunk visits was tossed out of the bunks by horses was col- (BVs), total intake (g DM/kg BW), and eating rate lected and weighed to account for discrepancies in (g DM/kg BW/min). A single BV event began when GrowSafe data acquisition. Hay tossed from bunks the EID tag of an animal was first detected at a feed Translate basic science to industry innovation Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 4 Dickson et al. bunk and ended when the time between the last analysis. Means were calculated for each variable two consecutive EID recordings exceeded 100 s, as an average of that variable over the duration of the EID tag was detected at another feed bunk, each 2-wk period. Intake per hour was calculated or the EID tag of another animal was detected at by averaging the sum of feed intake consumed over the same feed bunk (Mendes et al., 2011). BV fre- each respective hour (i.e., 00:00 to 00:59, 01:00 to quency was defined as the number of independent 01:59) for each horse over the 2-wk data collection events recorded regardless of whether or not feed period. Differences in means of frequency, dura- was consumed, and duration was defined as the tion, and intake, per hour and per day, in addition sum of the lengths of all BV events recorded within to eating rate were analyzed using PROC MIXED a 24-h period. Feed intake was assigned to individ- in SAS (v 9.4; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). The ual animals based on continuous recordings of feed statistical model for this dataset contained treat- disappearance during each BV event. Eating rate ment (COMP or NOCOMP), sex, and the interac- was calculated as the ratio of daily DM intake (g/ tion as fixed effects. PROC CORR (SAS v 9.4) was kg BW) to daily BV duration. utilized to determine relationships between intake and displacement events, and between GrowSafe and video measures. All variables were normally Video Analysis distributed and all data are expressed as least Horse behavior in the pens was video recorded square means ± SEM. Significance was declared at using a closed-circuit camera system (EnGenius P ≤ 0.05, and trends declared at P ≤ 0.10. Technologies, Costa Mesa, CA; GeoVision Inc., Taiwan, China) on the final day of each treatment RESULTS period. Video recordings were decoded from 00:00 to 23:59. Recordings from both NOCOMP and Validation of GrowSafe for Horses COMP horses were used to validate the GrowSafe System for horses, while only recordings from the Because of inconsistencies in video recording COMP animals were used to quantify agonistic (e.g., poor lighting, intermittent blocking of the behaviors. GrowSafe use in horses was validated by camera by machinery), valid visualization of time recording the duration of time (seconds) each horse spent at the GrowSafe bunk could only be quan- spent at the bunk using continuous observations for tified from two horses, one gelding in a group set- one horse per pen for one day of the trial. A total ting and one mare in an individual pen. Using that of four horses were to be used for GrowSafe vali- data, the duration of time spent at the GrowSafe dation. Recording of a feeding event started when bunk (minutes per hour) from the GrowSafe system the horse lowered its head into the feed bunk and and video observations were positively correlated ended when the horse raised its entire head out of (r = 0.7124, P < 0.001; Supplementary Figure S1). the feed bunk. Discrete feeding events were delin- eated when the horse’s head was out of the bunk Feeding Behavior Traits for a duration of 10 s or longer. The total number of seconds spent eating were collated by hour and Group-housed (COMP) horses spent less time then compared to hourly feeding duration data at the feed bunk per hour (P < 0.01; Figure 2A) obtained from the GrowSafe system. On the final and per day (P < 0.01; Figure 2B) than NOCOMP day of each 2-wk treatment period, the total num- horses. A treatment × sex interaction (P = 0.04; ber of displacements from the GrowSafe bunk that Figure 2B) was detected for BV duration where were performed and received by each individual NOCOMP mares spent more time at the feed bunk horse were recorded in the COMP pen only. A dis- compared to COMP mares (P < 0.01), whereas BV placement was defined as an event when a horse duration per day was unaffected by housing type physically moved its feet away from the feed bunk for geldings (Figure 2B). and discontinued eating because of an incoming Intake (relative to BW) per hour was unaffected threat or aggressive behavior. by housing treatment (Figure 3A) but intake per day tended to be greater for NOCOMP compared to COMP horses (P = 0.09; Figure 3B). There were Statistical Analysis no intake × sex interactions detected for intake and Although there were 10 total horses used in the no differences in intake between mares and geldings. study, only data from horses that experienced both Frequency of BV per hour (COMP: 5.88 ± housing treatments (n = 6) were used in statistical 0.29; NOCOMP: 5.84 ± 0.84) and per day (COMP: Translate basic science to industry innovation Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 GrowSafe use in horses 5 A A COMP 1.2 COMP NOCOMP NOCOMP 1.0 0.8 20 ab 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Geldings Mares Geldings Mares COMP NOCOMP COMP bc NOCOMP ab Geldings Mares Figure 2. Total time (minutes) spent at feed bunks per hour (A) and Geldings Mares per day (B), as measured by GrowSafe Systems, for mature geldings and mares experiencing both group (COMP) and individual (NOCOMP) Figure 3. Total forage DM intake (g/kg BW) per hour (A) and per housing in a 4-wk crossover design consisting of two 2-wk treatment peri- day (B), as measured by GrowSafe Systems, for mature geldings and ods. Overall effects of treatment (P = 0.008, P = 0.003), sex (P = 0.727, mares experiencing both group (COMP) and individual (NOCOMP) P = 0.596), and treatment ×sex (P = 0.252, P = 0.040) for panels A and housing in a 4-wk crossover design consisting of two 2-wk treatment a,b B, respectively. Means with different letters differ (P ≤ 0.05). periods. Intake per hour was calculated by averaging the sum of feed intake consumed over each respective hour (i.e., 00:00 to 00:59, 01:00 to 01:59) for each horse over the 2-wk data collection period. Intake 105.63 ± 9.70; NOCOMP: 121.54 ± 18.59) were not per day was calculated as average feed intake over the duration of each affected by housing treatment or by sex. However, 2-wk period. Overall effects of treatment (P = 0.153, P = 0.093), sex housing type impacted eating rate; COMP mares (P = 0.980, P = 0.611), and treatment × sex (P = 0.250, P = 0.592) for consumed feed at a greater rate than NOCOMP panels A and B, respectively. mares (P = 0.04; Figure 4), but housing type did not affect eating rate in geldings. DISCUSSION The GrowSafe System traditionally used to Social Behavior quantify intake in cattle may offer a more effective and accurate means of measuring exact consump- Average total intake (g DM/kg BW) across the tion and can be applied to either group-housed or study tended to be negatively associated with the individually housed horses. In research settings, number of times a horse was displaced from the it is a common practice to measure forage intake feed bunk (r = −0.7832; P = 0.06) and tended to as the difference between hay offered and refused be positively correlated with the number of times a after a specified period for each individual animal. horse performed a bunk displacement (r = 0.7350, However, quantifying intake using this methodology P = 0.09). The number of times a horse was dis- can result in a large margin of error as hay is typi- placed from the feed bunk tended to be negatively cally trampled, mixed with dirt and feces, or subject associated with the number of times the horse per- to weather conditions (e.g., wind, rain). In this study, formed a displacement (r = −0.7428; P = 0.09). Translate basic science to industry innovation Duration per Day, min Duration per Hour, min Inake per Day, Inake per Hour, g DM/kg BW g DM/kg BW Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 6 Dickson et al. It is important to note that in this trial, horses COMP 0.07 in both the COMP and NOCOMP setting were NOCOMP 0.06 housed in neighboring pens, allowing individually ab housed horses to have visual and physical contact 0.05 a a with other horses. The opportunity to engage in 0.04 visual and physical social interactions while indi- vidually housed may have influenced horse behavior 0.03 and feeding patterns. In contrast, animals housed 0.02 in solitary confinement (e.g., without visual, tac- 0.01 tile, or olfactory contact with conspecifics) may be subjected to increased stress (Yarnell et al., 2015), potentially decreasing appetite. Feeding behavior GeldingsMares traits of horses in the current study may have been Figure 4. Forage eating rate (g DM/kg BW/min), as measured by much different had they been subjected to isolation GrowSafe Systems, for mature geldings and mares experiencing both during the NOCOMP treatment period. group (COMP) and individual (NOCOMP) housing in a 4-wk cross- The GrowSafe system has been previously val- over design consisting of two 2-wk treatment periods. Eating rate was calculated as the ratio of daily DM intake (g/kg BW) to daily BV dura- idated for use in cattle through video observation tion. Overall effects of treatment (P = 0.501), sex (P = 0.498), and treat- with an R = 0.98 for meal duration (DeVries et al., a,b ment × sex (P = 0.035). Means with different letters differ (P ≤ 0.05). 2003). A cattle validation study over a 6-d period at Texas A&M University using the same GrowSafe intake per day tended to be lower in group-housed system reported a likelihood that an animal present (COMP) compared to single-housed (NOCOMP) at the feed bunk was detected present by the sys- horses (average 1.24 vs. 1.67% BW for COMP com- tem of 86.4% (Mendes et al., 2011). This is higher pared to NOCOMP horses, respectively). These than the correlation in the current project of 0.71, data are in contrast to previously published volun- which can most likely be explained by species dif- tary DM forage intake values of about 2% of BW ferences, or lack of sufficient replication. GrowSafe (NRC, 2007; Martinson et al., 2012). However, is designed for use in cattle and, as such, is suited horses in the current study were also individually for the anatomy of a cow’s head. Optimization of fed 0.25% BW (DM basis) of a concentrate grain, attachment of the RFID to the horse would be which resulted in total DM intake of 1.49% BW for beneficial and may improve accuracy of the system. COMP horses and 1.92% BW for NOCOMP ani- Mendes et al. (2011) also observed video for 6 d mals. Regardless, the lower total intake for horses from 10 cattle as compared to the 1 day of video housed in the COMP setting should be considered data collected on 2 horses in the current trial due to when moving horses from being individually fed to logistical constraints associated with video record- being fed in a group or when intake is assumed to be ing. Further replication in both number of days equal for all horses housed in a group. and number of horses are needed to fully validate Limited access to resources increases com- the GrowSafe system for horses. petition and animals will adjust their behavior In both wild and domestic horse bands or accordingly in order to meet their biological needs groups, clear dominance hierarchies are established (Jørgensen et al., 2009). During group housing, quickly and disruptions to the hierarchy are rare, horses spent less time feeding per hour and per day, which results in a highly stable social structure and mares ate faster compared to when they were (Henderson, 2007). For this reason, it was assumed individually housed. Similar relationships between that displacement events for COMP horses on the bunk competition and feeding behavior have also final day of each treatment period were considered been observed in cattle. Lactating dairy cows pro- representative of the entire period. In addition, the vided with more space at the feeder spent 14% more primary interest for this study was the social dynam- time engaged in feeding activity and performed ics of the group once the relationships had been 57% fewer aggressive behaviors (DeVries et al., established. Thus, the process of establishing social 2004). The current study was preliminary in nature relationships was not included in the behavioral eval- but should be repeated allowing similar individual uation of this study because it was not important to bunk access between individual- and group-housed our research objective. Not surprisingly, the gelding environments to determine whether the differences that had the largest intake per day when housed in a noted in DM intake were due to social hierarchies group was also the gelding that was never displaced or feed availability and opportunity. and displaced others the most. The gelding that had Translate basic science to industry innovation Eating rate, g DM/kg BW/min Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/tas/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/tas/txz002/5292356 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 05 February 2019 GrowSafe use in horses 7 the lowest intake per day in the group setting was the for accurately measuring individual forage intake. horse with the greatest number of displacements. In Further evaluations are needed regarding feed bunk the mare group, the horse with the greatest number infrastructure and RFID placement on the horse of displacements was not the mare with the lowest to optimize this system for use in horses. Future intake per day, yet her intake increased substantially research and validation are warranted, as this sys- when housed in a single pen. tem could provide an effective means of monitoring Aggressive behaviors observed within two bands feeding behavior in horses, as well as decreasing hay of free-ranging Przewalski horses occurred more wastage. often when a socially subordinate horse invaded SUPPLEMENTARY DATA the space of a more dominant horse (Keiper and Receveur, 1992). Low intensity aggressive behaviors, Supplementary data are available at such as displacement, threats to bite, and threats to Translational Animal Science online. kick, make up the largest percentage of agonistic Conflict of interest statement . None declared. behaviors in horses (Keiper and Receveur, 1992). In a study that compared aggressive interactions LITERATURE CITED of group-housed geldings, group-housed mares, DeVries, T.J., M.A. von Keyserlingk, and D.M. Weary. 2004. and a mixed sex group, there were no differences Effect of feeding space on the inter-cow distance, aggres- in aggressive behaviors between groups, supporting sion, and feeding behavior of free-stall housed lactating the present finding that sex did not affect total daily dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 87:1432–1438. doi:10.3168/jds. intake nor intake rates (Jørgensen et al., 2009). S0022-0302(04)73293-2 This study, although novel in approach, did DeVries, T.J., M.A. von Keyserlingk, D.M. Weary, and K.A. Beauchemin. 2003. Technical note: validation have limitations as the GrowSafe was not specifi- of a system for monitoring feeding behavior of dairy cally designed for horses, and horses pose a different cows. J. Dairy Sci. 86:3571–3574. doi:10.3168/jds. set of challenges during research than cattle. Due to S0022-0302(03)73962-9 availability of the GrowSafe pens, horses were only Henderson, A.J. 2007. Don’t fence me in: managing psycholog- allowed a 1-wk acclimation period. 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Round-bale feeder design affects hay waste and economics during horse feeding. J. Anim. future research applications. Finally, horses tossed Sci. 90:1047–1055. doi:10.2527/jas.2011-4087 hay out of the feed bunks, which made calculating Mendes, E.D., G.E. Carstens, L.O. Tedeschi, W.E. Pinchak, feed disappearance values in the GrowSafe System and T.H. Friend. 2011. Validation of a system for mon- challenging. The development of a curtain or itoring feeding behavior in beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. screen to keep hay inside the bunks would be an 89:2904–2910. doi:10.2527/jas.2010-3489 infrastructural modification that could broaden the NRC. 2007. Nutrient requirements of horses. 6th rev. ed. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press. applicability of the GrowSafe system to include Yarnell, K., C. Hall, C. Royle, and S.L. Walker. 2015. both cattle and equids. Domesticated horses differ in their behavioural and physi- The GrowSafe System has potential for use in ological responses to isolated and group housing. Physiol. equids and appears to offer an alternative means Behav. 143:51–57. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.040 Translate basic science to industry innovation
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