Factors associated with the prevalence of stereotypic behaviour amongst thoroughbred horses passing through auctioneer sales

Mills, Daniel S. and Alston, Robert D. and Rogers, Victoria and Longford, Nicholas T. (2002) Factors associated with the prevalence of stereotypic behaviour amongst thoroughbred horses passing through auctioneer sales. Applied animal behaviour science, 78 (2-4). pp. 115-124. ISSN 0168-1591

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(02)00096-5

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether sex, age and/or coat colour were associated with the occurrence of stereotypic behaviour in the horse and to assess whether the occurrence of one type of stereotypy in an individual was associated with the occurrence of another specific type of stereotypy. The incidence of stereotypic boxwalking, weaving (both locomotor stereotypies) and oral stereotypy in 4061 Thoroughbred horses passing through five bloodstock auctions were recorded from sale declarations and information on returns. An overall prevalence of 5.1% was recorded, and varied with sex (P<0.001) and age (P<0.001) but not coat colour (P=0.495). Prevalence was higher in females, geldings, and 2-year-olds. Examination of the assumption that stereotypies are acquired independently suggested a higher than expected prevalence of animals with more than one stereotypy. The interaction was not the same for all forms of stereotypy recorded. The effect was greatest between boxwalking and weaving, (odds ratio 13.6) whilst combinations involving oral and locomotor stereotypies had lower odds ratios (between 2.9 and 4.9).

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The objective of this study was to evaluate whether sex, age and/or coat colour were associated with the occurrence of stereotypic behaviour in the horse and to assess whether the occurrence of one type of stereotypy in an individual was associated with the occurrence of another specific type of stereotypy. The incidence of stereotypic boxwalking, weaving (both locomotor stereotypies) and oral stereotypy in 4061 Thoroughbred horses passing through five bloodstock auctions were recorded from sale declarations and information on returns. An overall prevalence of 5.1% was recorded, and varied with sex (P<0.001) and age (P<0.001) but not coat colour (P=0.495). Prevalence was higher in females, geldings, and 2-year-olds. Examination of the assumption that stereotypies are acquired independently suggested a higher than expected prevalence of animals with more than one stereotypy. The interaction was not the same for all forms of stereotypy recorded. The effect was greatest between boxwalking and weaving, (odds ratio 13.6) whilst combinations involving oral and locomotor stereotypies had lower odds ratios (between 2.9 and 4.9).
Keywords:behaviour, horses, management, prevalence, stereotypy, stress
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D422 Equine studies
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:754
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:25 Jun 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:13

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