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Facilities and Management

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  1. Facilities and Management AGRI 3364 Equine Science

  2. Housing • When housing is built for horses, what should it provide for? • Welfare of the horses • Safety, health, and comfort (horse & handler) • Efficient use of labor • Cost-effectiveness

  3. Welfare of Horses • Providing welfare of horses begins with what? • Understanding their natural environment • Environment involves four main areas • Physical • Social • Chemical • Biological

  4. Welfare of Horses • Physical Environment includes: • Temperature • Heat-Loss Factors • Stall Space • Feeder Space • Flooring

  5. Welfare of Horses • Social Environment Includes: • Behavioral Considerations • Sex of Horses • Age of Horses • Level of Activity

  6. Welfare of Horses • Chemical Environment Includes: • Water Quality • Various Gases • O2 • CO2 • NH3 • Air Contaminants (dust and mold)

  7. Welfare of Horses • Biological Environment Includes: • Disease organisms in air • Water • Feed • Stall Materials • Other Animals

  8. Welfare of Horses • Horses use • Flight as a primary defense mechanism • When threatened, frightened, or in pain: • Strike, bite, kick, or attempt to leave • Can injure themselves • Facilities should provide for the safety

  9. Welfare of Horses • Horses do not spend long periods of time confined under natural conditions • What may develop if confined for long periods? • Vices • What tends to minimize vices? • Adequate stall space

  10. Welfare of Horses • Fresh air should always be available in barns • CO2, water vapor, and manure need to be removed • Adequate ventilation will • Reduce air contaminants such as dust, mold, and irritating gases

  11. First Step in Building is Knowing the Recommended Space Requirements

  12. Buildings • Horses are housed in buildings primarily for convenience of handlers • As a result • Human environmental needs plays a major role in facility design • This may be a conflict with • The environmental needs of the horse

  13. Buildings • A horse can do well in nearly any temperature if: • Humidity can be held to a comfortable level • Enough air movement through barn • Conditions that are most detrimental are: • High moisture • Barn is either too hot or cold

  14. Buildings • What must be considered in the construction of a facility? • Purpose of facility • Number and breed of animals • Room for expansion • Regulatory requirements • Budget • Layout of facilities to day-to-day activities

  15. Site Selection • Local zoning requirements should be checked: • Some areas restrict the number of acres to house livestock • Distance of boundary lines, dwellings, and neighbors may also be regulated • If regulation cannot be met, approval from zoning board may be necessary

  16. Site Selection • Site should allow water to drain away from buildings, etc. • A site of 2 to 6 % slope provides rapid removal of water without causing erosion • Detailed site plan should be developed before making final decision • Allows to ensure sufficient space is allowed

  17. Site Selection • Plan should indicate where • Water, sewer, and electrical lines enter the building • Building should be situated to • Take advantage of prevailing winds and airflow

  18. Site Selection • Consideration should be given to: • Clients • Traffic • Impact on neighbors • Manure handling • Conditions in neighborhood that will startle or distract horses

  19. Site Preparation • Getting a particular location ready involves: • Removing topsoil • Leveling the area • Bringing utilities to site • Usually means that local contractor will be engaged

  20. Type of Construction • Buildings can be: • Metal frame • Pole • Conventional Construction • Type of structure may depend heavily of economic feasibility

  21. Options in the Building • Windows: • Expensive additions • Only essential in those structures that must conform to health regulations • When used for light, should equal 8 to 10% of floor area

  22. Options in the Building • Siding: • Metal • Low maintenance • Pre-painted, will last 15 to 20 yrs • Wood • Will withstand abuse • Better insulating value • Requires periodic painting or staining

  23. Options in the Building • Siding: • Masonry • Very little maintenance • High initial cost • Difficult to insulate • When used with steel-frame or pole buildings, requires a separate foundation

  24. Options in the Building • Roofing: • Aluminum or steel • White colored has slightly better reflective quality • Requires less roof framing than shingles • Lower Cost • Less insulating value than wood

  25. Options in the Building • Insulation: • Many choices of insulating material are available (Considerations include): • Cold buildings operated at outside temperatures • Buildings where animal heat provides only winter minimum temperatures • Buildings with supplemental heating systems

  26. Ventilation • A good ventilation system must: • Provide fresh air • Control moisture buildup within the structure • Move enough air to dilute any airborne diseases • Control and/or moderate temperature extremes

  27. Ventilation • The basic process that occurs with all successful ventilation systems is: • Cool, dry air is drawn into the building • Heat and moisture are added to the air • Warm, wet air is expelled • Failure to provide for any part of this process will result in failure to ventilate

  28. Flooring • Stall floors must be made of • Durable material that is not slippery • Should be absorbent, easy to clean, and resistant to pawing • Common materials include: • Clay, sand and clay mix, limestone dust, wood, concrete, asphalt, rubber mats

  29. Other Structures • Arena and indoor training facilities • Pasture shelters • Feed and water facilities • Should try to keep feed off ground • Water should be kept clean

  30. Fencing • Fences must be: • Safe and strong enough to contain the horses • Affordable and acceptable in appearance • Important in making the handling, moving, and sorting of horses easy

  31. Selecting the Right Fence • Type of Fence Depends on: • Type of horses being managed • Intended use of the area • Density of animals on the fenced area • Availability of shelter • Neighbors • Desired aesthetics • Projected budget

  32. Selecting the Right Fence • Draft vs. Miniature • Mare and foals • Yearlings • Stallions • Forage vs. Exercise pasture • Density

  33. Types of Fencing • Post-and-Board • Woven Wire • Pipe fence • High-Tensile Wire • PVC • Cable • Electric • Barbed Wire

  34. Manure Management • An average 1,000 lb horse produces: • ~ 9 tons of manure / year • How the manure is stored and treated has a substantial impact on its value • Labor, storage, and utilization costs can be considerable

  35. Manure Management • U.S. Horse Industry uses two principle manure management systems • First permits horses to • Graze full time on pastures and manure is not collected • Second system • Confines animal feeding which relies on intense management

  36. Manure Management • Manure is typically managed in one of the following ways: • Compost (removed daily and composted) • Stockpile (removed daily) • Daily Land Application • Removed daily and spread on land

  37. Manure Collection • Horses housed in confined settings require soft absorbent bedding • Most common bedding includes: • Wood shavings • Straw • Corn stalks • Shredded newspaper • Peanut shells • Peat Moss • Rice Hulls, etc.

  38. Pasture Management • Management in pastures depends primarily on • Having good distribution across pasture • Rotational grazing • What will also encourage better manure distribution? • Several watering facilitates and moving of feeding facilities

  39. Pasture Management • Avoid grazing during rainy periods if possible • Refrain from excessive stocking rates • Damage to grass stand will increase manure runoff

  40. Storage and Treatment • Composting: • Produces a relatively dry end product that is easily handled • At proper temperature, can kill fly eggs and larvae, pathogens, and weed seeds • Has less of an odor • Acts as an excellent fertilizer

  41. Storage and Treatment • Stockpiling: • Adequate storage area allows for greater flexibility • Proper site selection for manure disposal is important • Place stockpiles at least 150 feet away from surface water to avoid runoff

  42. Land Application • Manure can be applied to pasture for disposal • Manure spreader aids in uniform distribution of manure • Avoid spreading manure close to surface water or eroded areas