- Volume 55 Issue 4
DOI QR Code
The Effect of Living Conditions on Stress and Behavior of Horses
- Park, Sang-Kook (Animal Breeding and Genetics Division, National Institute of Animal Science) ;
- Jung, Hee-Jun (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University) ;
- Choi, You-Lim (Animal Breeding and Genetics Division, National Institute of Animal Science) ;
- Kwon, Oh-Sub (Animal Breeding and Genetics Division, National Institute of Animal Science) ;
- Jung, Young-Hun (Animal Breeding and Genetics Division, National Institute of Animal Science) ;
- Cho, Chung-Il (Animal Breeding and Genetics Division, National Institute of Animal Science) ;
- Yoon, Minjung (Department of Horse, Companion and Wild Animal Science, Kyungpook National University)
- Received : 2013.07.15
- Accepted : 2013.08.20
- Published : 2013.08.31
Providing an adequate environment for horses is important to minimize the level of stress for domesticated horses. The objectives of this study were 1) to evaluate the effect of living conditions on stress level of horses, 2) to observe the effect of one month confinement on self-maintenance behavior and stereotypic behavior of horses. The experiment was conducted at National Institute of Animal Science, Equine Field Station (Seonghwan-eup, Korea). Horses were staying in the paddock prior to the experiment. On day 1, five horses were randomly selected and housed in metal fence panels stall. Six horses remained in the same paddock. The ratio of neutrophil to lymphocyte (on day 15) and cortisol (on day 1 and 29) from stalled horses were significantly higher than horses in the paddock. Duration or frequency of self-maintenance behaviors such as feeding, drinking, resting, walking was not significantly different between day 1 and day 29. However, the frequency of urination significantly decreased (p<0.05) on day 29 compared with day 1. The frequency of stereotypic behaviors was not different between day 1 and 29. Our data indicate that horses may be more stabled when they are staying in the paddock rather than staying in the stall, but the stress level of horses in the stall during one month confinement was not effective for horses to adapt stereotypic behavior. In conclusion, providing an adequate environment and stress-less horse management techniques can minimize the stress level of horses.
- Cooper, J. J., McDonald, L. and Mills, D. S. 2000. The effect of increasing visual horizons on stereotypic weaving: implications for the social housing of stabled horses. Appl Anim Behav Sci 69:67-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(00)00115-5
- Dallaire, A. 1986. Rest behavior. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract Behav 591-607.
- Lassourd, V., Gayrard, V., Laroute, V., Alvinerie, M., Benard, P., Courtot, D. and Toutain, P. L. 1996. Cortisol disposition and production rate in horses during rest and exercise. The American journal of physiology 271:R25-33.
- Mason, G. 1991. Stereotypies: a critical review. Anim Behav 41:1015-1037. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-3472(05)80640-2
- Mason, G., Clubb, R., Latham, N. and Vickery, S. 2007. Why and how should we use environmental enrichment to tackle stereotypic behaviour? Applied Animal Behaviour Science 102:163-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2006.05.041
- McBride, S. and Cuddelford, D. 2001. The putative welfare reducing effects of preventing equine stereotypic behaviour. Animal Welfare: 173-189.
- Morgan, M. J. 1973. Effects of post-weaning environment on learning in the rat. Animal Behaviour 21:429-430. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-3472(73)80002-8
- Morris, D. D. and Large, S. M. 1990. Alterations in the leukogram. In: Large Animal International Medicine, 1st edn. V. V. Mosby Co., St. Louis. pp. 425-434.
- Mostl, E. and Palme, R. 2002. Hormones as indicators of stress. Domestic animal endocrinology 23:67-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0739-7240(02)00146-7
- Odberg, F. O. 1986. The jumping stereotypy in the bank vole clethrionomys glareolus. Biology of Behaviour: 130-143.
- Rupic, V., Bacar-Huskic, L., Lojkic, M., Habe, F. and Ergotic, N. 2001. The effect of different quantities and compositions of pelleted diets on immune response of mares during the production of anti-tetanus sera. Berliner und Munchener tierarztliche Wochenschrift 114:188-192.
- Stull, C. L. and Rodiek, A. V. 2000. Physiological responses of horses to 24 hours of transportation using a commercial van during summer conditions. Journal of animal science 78:1458-1466. https://doi.org/10.2527/2000.7861458x
- Wingfield, J. C. and Kitaysky, A. S. 2002. Endocrine responses to unpredictable environmental events: stress or anti-stress hormones? Integrative and comparative biology 42:600-609. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/42.3.600