Updated: Jan 25
Dust amount and type of alfalfa cubes, and good- and poor-quality hay were studied. The cubes were produced by a high-temperature drying process that avoids mold. Horses were kept in stalls with dampened shavings. Each horse was fed each forage type for 1 week, and dust loads were measured on filters placed near the horses' nostrils.
The study monitored horses for 3 weeks. The horses were fed the different types and air samples were taken throughout the feeding period to identify the number and size of the horse's breathing zone. Finally, a microscopic assessment of samples of dust from each forage type was made.
The amount of dust collected and the mean number of particles in both size ranges was significantly lower from cubes than from hay, with no difference between good and poor quality hay, Cubes had no fungal spores. Both types of hay contained fungal spores, with more found in the poor-quality hay. Dust mites and excreta were found in poor-quality hay.