2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

The Effects of an Enclosed Bale Feeder on Behavior and Stress in Horses


Mackenzie V. Melvin*, Jessica L. Boyer, and Victoria J. Hoyle
Dr. Jessica D. Colpoys, Faculty Mentor

The objective of this study was to evaluate horse stress and behavior when fed using a traditional bale ring compared to an enclosed bale feeder (Hayhut). We hypothesize that horses fed using a Hayhut will have lower stress hormone concentrations and fewer aggressive behaviors compared to horses fed using a traditional bale ring. Two herds of five horses each, containing an equal ratio of females and castrated males, were fed using a bale ring and an enclosed bale feeder. A crossover experimental design was utilized, so each herd of horses had access to each type of feeder for one week. Blood samples were collected the week before and at the end of each week that feeder treatments were applied to measure serum cortisol concentrations in each horse. Video was recorded daily from 8:00 to 17:00 hours and is being analyzed using hourly instantaneous scan sampling.

Keywords: Equine Science, Behavior, Stress, Blood Cortisol, Horses

Topic(s):Agricultural Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 205-1
Location: MG 2001
Time: 9:30

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