Samband mellan tidig ålder vid avskiljning och missriktat diande hos föl

Detta är en L3-uppsats från SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Sammanfattning: By tradition horses are weaned at an age of 5-6 months. This study illuminates weaned foals misdirected suckling behaviour, which means that they try to suckle another foal. Since no information about this issue is presented, we decided to perform a behaviour study on weaned foals. The misdirected suckling behaviour was studied on a group with 7 foals, with both fillies and colts. In the group the weaning age varied between 147 days and 215 days, and the first time we observed them, they had been separated from the mares for 12 days. We found that age at weaning is correlated with the emergence of this non-nutritional suckling behaviour. It was revealed that the older colts were most frequent to give suck. Beside our behaviour study we review the natural relationship between mare and her offspring, natural weaning and the suckingbehaviour in foals. Suckling is an important factor for the foals´ social and emotional welfare. When human wean foals at a young age, they are exposed for stress that could lead to stereotypic and other behaviour problems.

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