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Suitability of biocompost as a bedding material for stabled horses: respiratory hygiene and management practicalities.
Equine Vet J. 2007 Mar; 39(2):129-35.EV

Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY

Bedding material in stables has an important influence on air hygiene and information on the suitability of biocompost and wood shavings is incomplete.

OBJECTIVES

To compare the suitability and benefit of biocompost and wood shavings as bedding in horse stables and to determine key air factors for the evaluation of the potential impact of these materials on respiratory health.

METHODS

The study was conducted in a naturally ventilated stable with 4 horses. Air hygiene parameters were measured 24 h/day for 7 days with each bedding type: ammonia (NH3), inhalable and respirable dust, endotoxins, colony forming units (CFU) of total mesophilic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and thermophilic actinomycetes. Both bedding materials were analysed for general chemical composition, particle size distribution and natural microbial content. The animals' behaviour was monitored by video cameras, and their health and cleanliness status determined by clinical and visual examination.

RESULTS

Concentrations of NH3, dust, endoxins and fungi were significantly higher during the monitoring period with wood shavings than with biocompost. In contrast concentrations of mesophilic bacteria, mesophilic actinomycetes and thermophilic actinomycetes microbial pollutants were highest with biocompost. The water content of bulk biocompost was considerably higher than that of wood shavings. Particles < or = 0.4 mm were not detectable in bulk wood shavings. The concentration of thermophilic actinomycetes by weight in raw biocompost was 639 times higher than in raw wood shavings. No significant differences were observed in the time spent by the horses lying down. The biocompost material tended to adhere more intensively to the animals' hair coat. Horses showed no clinical signs indicating any adverse effects of the biocompost material during the trials.

CONCLUSIONS

Biocompost cannot be recommended as bedding material for horses in stables, because the concentration of thermophilic actinomycetes and other agents that elicit and maintain recurrent airway obstructions was significantly higher with biocompost than with wood shavings. To ensure the well-being of horses, any new bedding material must be tested very carefully before it is introduced to the market.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute for Animal Hygiene, Animal Welfare and Behaviour of Farm Animals, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bünteweg 17p, 30559 Hannover, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17378441

Citation

Seedorf, J, et al. "Suitability of Biocompost as a Bedding Material for Stabled Horses: Respiratory Hygiene and Management Practicalities." Equine Veterinary Journal, vol. 39, no. 2, 2007, pp. 129-35.
Seedorf J, Schröder M, Köhler L, et al. Suitability of biocompost as a bedding material for stabled horses: respiratory hygiene and management practicalities. Equine Vet J. 2007;39(2):129-35.
Seedorf, J., Schröder, M., Köhler, L., & Hartung, J. (2007). Suitability of biocompost as a bedding material for stabled horses: respiratory hygiene and management practicalities. Equine Veterinary Journal, 39(2), 129-35.
Seedorf J, et al. Suitability of Biocompost as a Bedding Material for Stabled Horses: Respiratory Hygiene and Management Practicalities. Equine Vet J. 2007;39(2):129-35. PubMed PMID: 17378441.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Suitability of biocompost as a bedding material for stabled horses: respiratory hygiene and management practicalities. AU - Seedorf,J, AU - Schröder,M, AU - Köhler,L, AU - Hartung,J, PY - 2007/3/24/pubmed PY - 2007/5/8/medline PY - 2007/3/24/entrez SP - 129 EP - 35 JF - Equine veterinary journal JO - Equine Vet J VL - 39 IS - 2 N2 - REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Bedding material in stables has an important influence on air hygiene and information on the suitability of biocompost and wood shavings is incomplete. OBJECTIVES: To compare the suitability and benefit of biocompost and wood shavings as bedding in horse stables and to determine key air factors for the evaluation of the potential impact of these materials on respiratory health. METHODS: The study was conducted in a naturally ventilated stable with 4 horses. Air hygiene parameters were measured 24 h/day for 7 days with each bedding type: ammonia (NH3), inhalable and respirable dust, endotoxins, colony forming units (CFU) of total mesophilic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and thermophilic actinomycetes. Both bedding materials were analysed for general chemical composition, particle size distribution and natural microbial content. The animals' behaviour was monitored by video cameras, and their health and cleanliness status determined by clinical and visual examination. RESULTS: Concentrations of NH3, dust, endoxins and fungi were significantly higher during the monitoring period with wood shavings than with biocompost. In contrast concentrations of mesophilic bacteria, mesophilic actinomycetes and thermophilic actinomycetes microbial pollutants were highest with biocompost. The water content of bulk biocompost was considerably higher than that of wood shavings. Particles < or = 0.4 mm were not detectable in bulk wood shavings. The concentration of thermophilic actinomycetes by weight in raw biocompost was 639 times higher than in raw wood shavings. No significant differences were observed in the time spent by the horses lying down. The biocompost material tended to adhere more intensively to the animals' hair coat. Horses showed no clinical signs indicating any adverse effects of the biocompost material during the trials. CONCLUSIONS: Biocompost cannot be recommended as bedding material for horses in stables, because the concentration of thermophilic actinomycetes and other agents that elicit and maintain recurrent airway obstructions was significantly higher with biocompost than with wood shavings. To ensure the well-being of horses, any new bedding material must be tested very carefully before it is introduced to the market. SN - 0425-1644 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17378441/Suitability_of_biocompost_as_a_bedding_material_for_stabled_horses:_respiratory_hygiene_and_management_practicalities_ L2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&amp;sid=nlm:pubmed&amp;issn=0425-1644&amp;date=2007&amp;volume=39&amp;issue=2&amp;spage=129 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -