The research was carried out on 6 "Italian Heavy Draught Horse" orphan foals artificially suckled by an automatic milk feeder. The purpose of the research was to show that artificial weaning does not have a negative effect on a foal's growth and welfare. The foals were reared in an indoor box, weighed every 3 weeks from day 4 after birth and observed for 24 consecutive hours at the age of 4, 10, 47, 114, 142 and 176 days, to compile an ethogram which includes biorhythms, and social, alimentary and eliminative behavioural patterns. During the study, "daily weight gains" were greater than 1610 g/d; but between 26 and 46 days and after weaning, values were lower than 1230 g/d, and between 172 and 193 days, prior to slaughtering, they were of 1090 g/d. Age had a significant influence (P<0.001) on almost all the ethological parameters considered, above all for the time spent lying down and the licking structures (P<0.01), and for the drinking bouts (P<0.05). The period of adaptation to artificial feeding certainly lasted at least two weeks. These results suggest that the technique of artificial suckling can be applied to horses without negative effects on growth and welfare, any subjects showed abnormal behaviour.

Artificially suckled I.H.D.H. (Italian Heavy Draught Horse) foals: In vivo performances and ethograms

TATEO, Alessandra;DE PALO, Pasquale;PADALINO, Barbara;CENTODUCATI, Pasquale
2009

Abstract

The research was carried out on 6 "Italian Heavy Draught Horse" orphan foals artificially suckled by an automatic milk feeder. The purpose of the research was to show that artificial weaning does not have a negative effect on a foal's growth and welfare. The foals were reared in an indoor box, weighed every 3 weeks from day 4 after birth and observed for 24 consecutive hours at the age of 4, 10, 47, 114, 142 and 176 days, to compile an ethogram which includes biorhythms, and social, alimentary and eliminative behavioural patterns. During the study, "daily weight gains" were greater than 1610 g/d; but between 26 and 46 days and after weaning, values were lower than 1230 g/d, and between 172 and 193 days, prior to slaughtering, they were of 1090 g/d. Age had a significant influence (P<0.001) on almost all the ethological parameters considered, above all for the time spent lying down and the licking structures (P<0.01), and for the drinking bouts (P<0.05). The period of adaptation to artificial feeding certainly lasted at least two weeks. These results suggest that the technique of artificial suckling can be applied to horses without negative effects on growth and welfare, any subjects showed abnormal behaviour.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/114233
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