A preliminary study on the utilization of an onboard watering system by horses during commercial transport
This study determined if slaughter horses would drink from an onboard watering system in acommercial semi-trailer, provided an estimate of how long water needed to be available, and determined if water consumption reduced weight loss. Three shipments to either Fort Worth or Morton, Texas of horses originating from Texas (16 h duration, n = 24), Kansas (23 h duration, n = 28), and Oregon (28 h duration, n = 19) were studied. Horses were divided into three separate compartments for each shipment and behavior was recorded using 10 cameras installed in the trailer. While the truck was stopped, horses in each of two compartments received water during a 1 h watering session. The third, non-watered compartment served as a control. Water was offered twice during the shorter Texas and Kansas shipments and three times during the Oregon shipment. The total number of horses drinking over the course of the shipments ranged from 85.7 to 100%. During the hotter Texas (mean 30 °C) shipment, all the horses that drank (88% of the horses) took their initial drink within the first 20 min of the first watering session. During the cooler Kansas and Oregon (mean 20 and 18 °C) shipments, it was not until 21–60 min that over 75% of horses initiated drinking. Overall, there was only a trend (P = 0.07) for horses with access to water to loose less weight (−9.83 kg/horse) than the non-watered controls (−17.14 kg/horse) indicating that the horses did not consume a large amount of water.
C M. Iacono, T H. Friend, R D. Johnson, Peter D. Krawczel, and G S. Archer. "A preliminary study on the utilization of an onboard watering system by horses during commercial transport" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 105.1-3 (2007): 227-231.
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