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The effect of a neighbouring conspecific versus the use of a mirror for the control of stereotypic weaving behaviour in the stabled horse

Mills, Daniel and Davenport, K. (2002) The effect of a neighbouring conspecific versus the use of a mirror for the control of stereotypic weaving behaviour in the stabled horse. Animal Science, 74 (1). pp. 95-101. ISSN 1357-7298

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Abstract

Weaving behaviour involves the repetitive lateral swaying of the head, neck, forequarters and sometimes hindquarters of the horse and is generally believed to be indicative of poor welfare. The behaviour of six known weavers was recorded three times a day for 5 days in each of three different stable designs. These were a conventional loose-box, a conventional loose-box with a 1 m2 acrylic mirror and a conventional loose-box in which there was a grilled 1 m2 side window separating the resident horse from a non-weaving conspecific in an adjacent stable. Weaving and other stereotypic behaviours were significantly higher in the unmodified stable and during the late afternoon observation period. There was no significant difference in the amount of stereotypic behaviour recorded in the two modified stables. Significant differences in the behaviour patterns and location of horses during the study suggest that activity engaging with either a visual image of a horse or a hay net is associated with a reduction in weaving and other repetitive activities in the stabled horse.

Keywords:Equidae, Equus caballus, Ploceinae
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9093
Deposited On:02 May 2013 20:08

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