Parker, Matthew, Goodwin, Deborah and Redhead, Edward S.
Survey of breeders’ management of horses in Europe, North America and Australia: comparison of factors associated with the development of abnormal behaviour
Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 114, (1-2), . (doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2008.02.003).
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An online survey of domestic horse breeders in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and mainland Europe was carried out in order to examine management risk factors associated with the development of abnormal behaviour patterns. One hundred and forty breeders responded, and epidemiological results suggested that the overall number of horses showing abnormal behaviours may be declining (5.2% of the sample). However, as found in previous studies, extensive, as opposed to intensive management practices reduce the risk of foals developing abnormal behaviours. In addition, offering foals low-energy forage in higher quantities reduces the risk of abnormal behaviour (P < 0.001). Results are discussed in relation to previous surveys, and suggestions are made for breeders and owners to help reduce the risks of young horses developing abnormal behaviours associated with weaning practices.
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