963 research outputs found

    A Review of the Appropriate Nutrition Welfare Criteria of Dairy Donkeys: Nutritional Requirements, Farm Management Requirements and Animal-Based Indicators

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    Data are available in the scientific literature concerning the quality and usefulness of donkey milk for human consumption. However, there is a lack of studies related to the understanding of the welfare of dairy donkeys. The only attempt, at a European Union level, to assess the welfare of donkeys is that of the Animal Welfare Indicator's (AWIN) welfare assessment protocol for donkeys, where the appropriate nutrition welfare criteria have been assessed, but only through the evaluation of the body condition score. However, several other indicators that take into account the importance of good feeding welfare principles should be considered for the correct management of dairy donkeys. Therefore, it is hoped that this review of the available scientific literature will be useful to help establish a set of appropriate welfare requirements and indicators for the management of dairy donkeys. The review is aimed at identifying and discussing other requirements and indicators, such as nutritional requirements, farm management requirements and animal-based indicators, which may be important for the correct assessment of the appropriate nutrition welfare criteria and to establish best practices for the feeding of dairy donkeys

    When changing the hay makes a difference: A series of case reports

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    Dry hay (composed of grass, legumes, or a mixture of the two) provides the primary source of alimentary fiber in stabled horses with limited access to fresh pasture. However, hay can also give rise to health problems in the horse, depending on the quality and quantity of its components. Pathologies may be rooted in biological problems, such as inadequate digestion disturbances, or reflect mechanical difficulties ‚Äď for example, due to the presence of sharp plant parts that irritate the oral mucosa, or due to physical intake problems that inhibit consumption. Unwanted plants in the hay may cause stomatitis and affect the oral mucosa, resulting in inappetence, hemorrhagic drooling, gingival hyperemia, edema, and ulcerative lesions, as reported in case 1 of the present study. Horse dysphagia, defined as a difficult in ingesting feed through the mouth and esophagus, is another important cause of malnutrition in the horse, and identifying the site of its origin is important in order to provide practical advice for nutritional management, as reported in case 2. Free fecal water syndrome (FFWS) is a condition where the horse exhibits two-phase feces expulsion, with an initial solid phase followed by a liquid phase. Although the etiology of FFWS is still unknown, hay quality seems to play a key role, as the outcome of case 3 suggests. This case series highlights the importance of hay quality and of providing an appropriate and adequate fiber intake. Moreover, good hay management becomes crucial when horses are affected by contextual pathologies, such as stomatitis, dysphagia, or FFW

    Gut health of horses: effects of high fibre vs high starch diet on histological and morphometrical parameters

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    BACKGROUND: The conventional feeding management of horses is still characterized by high starch and low fibre diets, which can negatively affect horse‚Äôs gastrointestinal health. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the effects of a high-starch (HS) vs. a high-fibre (HF) diet on gut health in horses. A total of 19 Bardigiano horses destined for slaughter and aged 14.3‚ÄȬĪ‚ÄČ0.7¬†months were randomly allotted to two dietary groups: HS (5 fillies and 4 colts,) and HF group (7 fillies and 3 colts). They received the same first-cut meadow hay but different complementary feeds for 72¬†days: HS group was fed 8¬†kg/animal/day of a starch-rich complementary feed while HF group was fed 3.5¬†kg/animal/day of a fibre‚Äźrich complementary feed. At slaughter, stomachs were separated and washed for the evaluation of the glandular and squamous regions. Also, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, apex of the caecum, sternal flexure, pelvic flexure, right dorsal colon, rectum and liver were excised and submitted to histomorphometrical evaluation. RESULTS: The glandular region of HS group presented more severe gastric mucosa lesions compared to the HF group (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.006). Moreover, a statistical tendency (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.060) was found for the squamous region, presenting a higher score in HS than HF diet. Regarding morphometry, in jejunum villus height to crypt depth (Cd) ratio was influenced by sex, being greater in males than in females (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.037) while in ileum Cd depended on interaction between sex and diet, being greater in males of HS group (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.029). Moreover, in the duodenum and right dorsal colon the severity of the inflammation depended on sex (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.024 and 0.050), being greater in females than in males. On the contrary, in the jejunum and in the pelvic flexure, inflammation was influenced by diet, being more severe in HS than in HF group (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0.024 and 0.052). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggested that HS diet provoked more severe mucosa lesions in the glandular region of the stomach and a higher inflammation both in the jejunum and pelvic flexure. The present study can represent a starting point for further investigations on gut health in horses
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