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Author (up) Brinkmann, L.; Gerken, M.; Riek, A. pdf  openurl
  Title Energetic adaptations of Shetland pony mares Type Conference Article
  Year 2015 Publication Proceedings of the 3. International Equine Science Meeting Abbreviated Journal Proc. 3. Int. Equine. Sci. Mtg  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords Body temperature, Energy expenditure, Food restriction, Hypometabolism, Locomotor activity, Shetland pony  
  Abstract Recent results suggest that wild Northern herbivores exhibit signs of a hypometabolism during times of low ambient temperature and food shortage in order to reduce their energetic needs. However, there are speculations that domestic animals lost the ability to reduce energy expenditure. To examine energetic and behavioural responses 10 Shetland pony mares were exposed to different environmental conditions (summer and winter). During winter ponies were allocated into two groups receiving two different food quantities (60% and 100% of maintenance energy requirement). We measured the field metabolic rate, water turn over, body temperature, locomotor activity, lying time, resting heart rate, body mass and body condition score.

In summer, the field metabolic rate of all ponies (FMR; 63.4±15.0 MJ/day) was considerably higher compared with food restricted and control animals in winter (24.6±7.8 and 15.0±1.1 MJ/day, respectively). Furthermore, during summer, locomotor activity, resting heart rate and total water turnover were significantly elevated (P<0.001) compared with winter. Animals receiving a reduced amount of food (N=5) reduced their FMR by 26% compared with control animals (N=5) to compensate for the decreased energy supply. Furthermore, resting heart rate, body mass and body condition score were lower(29.2±2.7 beats/min, 140±22 kg and 3.0±1.0 points, respectively) than in control animals (36.8±41 beats/min, 165±31 kg, 4.4±0.7 points; P<0.05). While no difference could be found in the observed behaviour, nocturnal hypothermia was elevated in restrictively fed animals. Our results indicate that ponies adapt to different climatic conditions by changing their metabolic rate, behaviour and some physiological parameters. When exposed to energy shortage, ponies, like wild herbivores, exhibited hypometabolism and nocturnal hypothermia.


Body temperature, Energy expenditure, Food restriction, Hypometabolism, Locomotor activity, Shetland pony
  Corporate Author Brinkmann, L. Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5893  
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