Husbandry practices associated with the presentation of abnormal behaviours in Chilean Creole horses

T. Tadich*, J. P. Smulders, O. Araya, C. J. Nicol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abnormal behaviours usually develop in environments that are suboptimal for the horses and tend to reduce their welfare. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of abnormal behaviours in Chilean Creole horses, and associate their presentation with characteristics of the animal and their management. Twenty-three breeding centres were surveyed face to face through their veterinarians. Information on 441 horses was obtained, of which 116 were foals or yearlings that did not present any abnormal behaviours. Of the remaining 325 adult horses 11.1% presented abnormal behaviours; 3.1% corresponded to stereotypes and 8% to wood-chewing. A significant association was found between sex (stallions) and the presentation of abnormal behaviours, while function was also significantly associated, with combination of sport and reproductive activities presenting a higher risk. In relation to husbandry practices horses received feeding 2 or 3 times daily. Diets comprised on average 50% roughage from the total feed ration (roughage + oats). A significant association was found between providing less than 60% of forage in the diet and the presentation of abnormal behaviours. Forty one percent of horses were kept in stables for over 6 hours per day, 37% had no type of contact with conspecifics while in the stable and 21% had straw bedding. None of these practices were associated with the presentation of abnormal behaviours. Establishing factors related to the development of abnormal behaviours in horses can allow improvement of their welfare through the implementation of appropriate husbandry practices in the equine production systems of the Chilean Creole horse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalArchivos de Medicina Veterinaria
Volume44
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • MANAGEMENT
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • WELFARE
  • WALKING
  • STEREOTYPIC BEHAVIOR
  • husbandry
  • stereotypic behaviour
  • abnormal behaviour
  • YOUNG HORSES
  • Chilean Creole horse

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