Posture and pull pressure by horses when eating hay or haylage from a hay net hung at various positions

Hodgson, S., Bennett-Skinner, P., Lancaster, B., Upton, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-3122-0343, Harris, P. and Ellis, A.D., 2022. Posture and pull pressure by horses when eating hay or haylage from a hay net hung at various positions. Animals, 12 (21): 2999. ISSN 2076-2615

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These studies assessed the pressure forces exerted by horses to extract forage from haynets. Study 1 measured horse posture and pressure in Newtons (10 N = 1 kg Force) exerted on haynets when feeding from either a single (SH) or double layered (DH) haynet (3 kg Hay), hung low or high. Mean and maximum pull forces were higher for the DH vs. SH (DH: 81 ± 2 N, max 156 N; SH: 74 ± 2.9 N, max 121 N; p < 0.01). Horses pulled harder on low (max pull 144 ± 8 N) compared to high (109 ± 8 N; p < 0.05) hung haynets. Mean maximum angles (nose-poll-withers) recorded were 90° ± 9 for SH and 127° ± 10 for DH (p < 0.01). Study 2 was a latin square design measuring forces exerted by 10 horses when eating from haynets (6 kg fill) with hay or haylage and attached to the wall at single or double points. Pull pressures were significantly higher when eating haylage compared to hay (mean: 7.5 kg vs. 2 kg and max: 32 kg versus 12 kg, respectively, (p < 0.001). Forage type and fracture properties had the greatest effect on apprehension rates of hay from haynets. In this study, the majority of force exerted when eating from haynets was below 70 N for hay and for haylage 50% of pulls were higher than 50 N with 8% of pulls above 200 N.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Animals
Creators: Hodgson, S., Bennett-Skinner, P., Lancaster, B., Upton, S., Harris, P. and Ellis, A.D.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 31 October 2022
Volume: 12
Number: 21
ISSN: 2076-2615
Rights: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 17 Jan 2023 10:10
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2023 10:10

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