Respirable dust concentrations in equine stables. Part 2: the benefits of soaking hay and optimising the environment in a neighbouring stable.Res Vet Sci 2007; 83(2):263-8RV
The effect of soaking hay to minimise equine breathing zone respirable dust concentration (RDC) is unknown, as is the duration of soaking required. Additionally, the influence of the bedding and forage used in one stable on the mean and maximum RDC in a neighbouring stable within a common airspace is unknown. Consequently, in the management of equine environmental respiratory disease uncertainty remains about the necessity for optimising conditions in neighbouring stables. Investigations using a real-time continuous particle monitor revealed that when feeding hay, horses' mean breathing zone RDC was significantly reduced if the hay was immersed or soaked for a prolonged time, prior to feeding. There was no advantage in soaking for an extended time period. Implementing management changes in one stable (changing from straw bedding and hay feeding to wood shavings bedding and haylage feeding) significantly reduced mean and maximum background RDC in a neighbouring stable within a common airspace.