Review - Sensory and feeding enrichment in ruminants and equines - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Reports (Technical Expertise Report) Year : 2023

Review - Sensory and feeding enrichment in ruminants and equines


In this review we summarise the current literature on sensory abilities, sensory enrichments and feeding enrichment materials/solutions for ruminants and equines. Relevant references from each species are included, and gaps in knowledge are identified when references are lacking. The review is not exhaustive, but represents the more recent, and relevant studies on the topics. The review first outlines the limited information available about the sensory abilities of the species considered with regards to the five senses: hearing, olfaction, touch, vision, and taste. The review then summarises the available literature on sensory enrichment, which like the one on sensory abilities, is very sparse. In general, research has focussed on visual abilities. Although much remains to be studied, there seems to be good potential to use the sensory abilities of the considered species to enrich their environments. The review further outlines current knowledge about various types of feeding enrichments, focusing on diversity and variety of feed, sensory familiarity, feed neophobia, and mode of presentation. There seems to be good potential to enrich the lives of the species considered by acting on feeding methods, strategies and substrates. Lastly, the review highlights key factors to focus on during welfare inspections, as well as gaps in the currently existing knowledge. These points lead to the suggestion of future highly relevant research areas within all topics, which could increase enrichment for all species considered.
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hal-04181929 , version 1 (16-08-2023)



Cécile Ginane, Maria Vilain Rørvang. Review - Sensory and feeding enrichment in ruminants and equines. Commission européenne - DG SANTE. 2023. ⟨hal-04181929⟩
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