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Determination of Phosphorus and Nitrogen Environmental Load From Six Different Bedding Types Used in an Equine Facility

Woodward, Adrienne D., Nielsen, Brian D., Pritchard, Abby, O'Connor-Robison, Cara I.
Journal of equine veterinary science 2019 v.73 pp. 10-14
corn cobs, feces, horses, hulls, litter (bedding), mosses and liverworts, nitrogen, nitrogen content, nutrient management, phosphorus, straw, wastes, wood products, wood shavings
The objective of this study was to determine the environmental load of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) from six different bedding materials used in an equine facility. Six horses were housed on six bedding materials—peat moss (PM), wood shavings (WS), wood pellets (WP), straw (ST), chopped straw (CS), and corn cob hulls (CC)— for 7 days each in a Latin Square design. Waste was removed once daily, weighed, mixed, and a 10% sample was saved. At the end of each 7-day period, all samples were pooled, mixed, and a representative sample was analyzed for concentration of P and N. Daily waste removed was highest in ST, followed by CS, WS, WP, PM, and CC (21.1 kg/day, 17.8 kg/day, 16.7 kg/day, 15.5 kg/day, 10.6 kg/day, and 10.5 kg/day, respectively; P < .01). Concentration of P in the waste bedding removed was highest in PM, followed by CC, CS, WS, WP, and ST (3.5 mg/kg, 3.2 mg/kg, 2.2 mg/kg, 2.2 mg/kg, 1.9 mg/kg, and 1.7 mg/kg, respectively; P < .01). Concentration of N in the waste bedding removed was highest in PM, followed by WP, CC, CS, ST, and WS (20.9 mg/kg, 16.4 mg/kg, 14.3 mg/kg, 13.2 mg/kg, 11.6 mg/kg, and 10.6 mg/kg, respectively; P < .01). These results reveal differences in contribution of P and N to the environmental load of six typical bedding materials used in horse facilities. The knowledge gained from these results can be used to improve nutrient management practices in horse facilities.