Faktorer som påverkar stereotypier hos häst

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från SLU/Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry

Sammanfattning: The horse is an herbivore herding animal, living in small family groups and spend most of the day searching for food. Modern horse-keeping can limit the possibilities for the horse to perform its natural behaviors, that can lead to a stereotypic behavior. With an increasing population of horse-owners, there is too little knowledge on management of horses. The aim of this study was to increase the understanding of how the stereotypic behavior originates and consequently how the horse-owner can adjust routines to affect the frequency to act in a preventive way. The study had two research issues: Which factors affect the young horse to commence a stereotype? How can horse-owners adapt the surrounding environment for a horse with a stereotypic behavior? Studies showed that some horse breeds are more receptive for stereotypic behaviors than others. Thoroughbreds were the most affected breed followed by warmblood riding horses. This was suggested to do with the fact that these breeds are performance breeds. In one study on 292 horses that only were used for recreational riding there were 12.3% had one kind of stereotypic behavior. In most studies, the results were connected to natural behaviors and how the horses were affected by everyday management. with the frequency of oral stereotypes decreased by 0.94 times for every extra hour the horse spent per day foraging and eating grass at pasture. Another interesting factor was that thoroughbreds that were fed at more than three occasions per day with more than 6.8 kg daily ration roughage had less risk for stereotypes than horses that were feed fewer times with more concentrated feeding options. One study examined the heritability in crib-biting in Finn-horses and concluded that the heritability was 0.68. Two studies explored the effect of the weaning and showed that there was a higher risk for the foal to commence with a stereotypic behavior if it were stabled alone, instead of letting out on pasture together with other young horses. Another study showed that the frequency of weaving in the box decreased from 4.9% to 0.8% when the horse had a mirror in the box. The study's conclusion was that the development of stereotypic behaviors in horses that are isolated socially, receive restricted amounts of roughage that does not meet their chewing needs and when the horse does not have access to outdoor living with free movement. Heredity and breed types can also be influencing factors. A horse that has a stereotype has in most cases begun the behavior before the age of seven. Greater risk of a stereotype when the foal is set up itself when weaning from her mother.

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