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Author Esch, L.; Wöhr, C.; Erhard, M.; Krueger, K.
Title Horses� (Equus Caballus) Laterality, Stress Hormones, and Task Related Behavior in Innovative Problem-Solving Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication (up) Animals Abbreviated Journal Animals
Volume 9 Issue 5 Pages 265
Keywords innovative behavior; brain lateralization; glucocorticoid metabolites; behavioral traits; equine cognition
Abstract Domesticated horses are constantly confronted with novel tasks. A recent study on anecdotal data indicates that some are innovative in dealing with such tasks. However, innovative behavior in horses has not previously been investigated under experimental conditions. In this study, we investigated whether 16 horses found an innovative solution when confronted with a novel feeder. Moreover, we investigated whether innovative behavior in horses may be affected by individual aspects such as: age, sex, size, motor and sensory laterality, fecal stress hormone concentrations (GCMs), and task-related behavior. Our study revealed evidence for 25% of the horses being capable of innovative problem solving for operating a novel feeder. Innovative horses of the present study were active, tenacious, and may be considered to have a higher inhibitory control, which was revealed by their task related behavior. Furthermore, they appeared to be emotional, reflected by high baseline GCM concentrations and a left sensory and motor laterality. These findings may contribute to the understanding of horses� cognitive capacities to deal with their environment and calls for enriched environments in sports and leisure horse management.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Esch2019 Serial 6570
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Author Krueger, K.; Esch, L.; Farmer, K.; Marr, I.
Title Basic Needs in Horses?--A Literature Review Type Magazine Article
Year 2021 Publication (up) Animals Abbreviated Journal Animals
Volume 11 Issue 6 Pages 1798
Keywords abnormal behaviour; active responses; horse; movement; passive responses; roughage; stress; social contact
Abstract Every animal species has particular environmental requirements that are essential for its welfare, and when these so-called “basic needs” are not fulfilled, the animals suffer. The basic needs of horses have been claimed to be social contact, social companionship, free movement and access to roughage. To assess whether horses suffer when one or more of the four proposed basic needs are restricted, we examined several studies (n = 38) that reported behavioural and physiological reactions to these restrictions. We assigned the studies according to the four types of responses investigated: (a) Stress, (b) Active, (c) Passive, and (d) Abnormal Behaviour. Furthermore, the number of studies indicating that horses reacted to the restrictions were compared with the number of studies reporting no reaction. The limited number of studies available on single management restrictions did not allow conclusions to be drawn on the effect of each restriction separately, especially in the case of social companionship. However, when combinations of social contact, free movement and access to roughage were restricted, many of the horses had developed responses consistent with suffering. Passive Responses, indicating acute suffering, and Abnormal Behaviour, indicating suffering currently or at some time in the past, were especially clearly demonstrated. This provides further evidence of the usefulness of assessing behavioural parameters in combination with physiological measurements when evaluating horse welfare. This meta-analysis of the literature confirms that it is justified to claim that social contact, free movement and access to roughage are basic needs in horses.
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Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title Animals
Series Volume 11 Series Issue 6 Edition
ISSN 2076-2615 ISBN Medium
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Notes Approved no
Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6645
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Author Krueger, K.; Esch, L.; Byrne, R.
Title Animal behaviour in a human world: A crowdsourcing study on horses that open door and gate mechanisms Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication (up) Plos One Abbreviated Journal Plos One
Volume 14 Issue 6 Pages e0218954
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Abstract Anecdotal reports of horses opening fastened doors and gates are an intriguing way of exploring the possible scope of horses' problem-solving capacities. The species' natural environment has no analogues of the mechanisms involved. Scientific studies on the topic are missing, because the rate of occurrence is too low for exploration under controlled conditions. Therefore, we compiled from lay persons case reports of horses opening closed doors and gates. Additionally, we collected video documentations at the internet platform YouTube, taking care to select raw data footage of unedited, clearly described and clearly visible cases of animals with no distinct signs of training or reduced welfare. The data included individuals opening 513 doors or gates on hinges, 49 sliding doors, and 33 barred doors and gateways; mechanisms included 260 cases of horizontal and 155 vertical bars, 43 twist locks, 42 door handles, 34 electric fence handles, 40 carabiners, and 2 locks with keys. Opening was usually for escape, but also for access to food or stable-mates, or out of curiosity or playfulness. While 56 percent of the horses opened a single mechanism at one location, 44 percent opened several types of mechanism (median = 2, min. = 1, max. = 5) at different locations (median = 2, min. = 1, max. = 4). The more complex the mechanism was, the more movements were applied, varying from median 2 for door handles to 10 for carabiners. Mechanisms requiring head- or lip-twisting needed more movements, with significant variation between individuals. 74 horses reported in the questionnaire had options for observing the behaviour in stable mates, 183 did not, which indicates that the latter learned to open doors and gates either individually or from observing humans. Experience favours opening efficiency; subjects which opened several door types applied fewer movements per lock than horses which opened only one door type. We failed to identify a level of complexity of door-fastening mechanism that was beyond the learning capacity of the horse to open. Thus, all devices in frequent use, even carabiners and electric fence handles, are potentially vulnerable to opening by horses, something which needs to be considered in relation to keeping horses safely.
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Publisher Public Library of Science Place of Publication Editor
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Notes Approved no
Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6580
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