The effect of a feeding stress-test on the behaviour and heart rate variability of control and crib-biting horses (with or without inhibition)

Krisztina Nagy, Gábor Bodó, G. Bárdos, Andrea Harnos, P. Kabai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Crib-biting is a form of oral stereotypy affecting 4-5% of horses. Once fixed, crib-biting is difficult to eliminate by behaviour therapy, however, its performance can be inhibited by collar or surgery treatment (modified Forssell's procedure). Although surgical intervention is widespread, the effects on stress coping in horses have not been studied. In the present study we evaluated changes in behaviour response and heart rate variability in 9 control, 10 crib-biting, 10 collar and 11 surgically treated horses in a feeding stress-test, in which a feeding-bowl was placed in front but out of the reach of the horses, from which tidbits were given 3 times. We found that stress triggers high oral activity, mainly cribbing in crib-biting horses, elevates other forms of oral activities in the inhibited groups and does not affect oral activities of controls. Instead of performing oral activities, control horses tended to target an unavailable feeding-bowl by pawing or head-tossing. Changes in stress level were indistinguishable in controls and crib-biters as heart rate variability returned to baseline values in both groups. In contrast, horses inhibited to perform crib-biting showed elevated stress level throughout the test period. Our results suggest that crib-biting may develop to cope with stress, and such coping function diminishes when inhibited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Fingerprint

Infant Equipment
exercise test
Exercise Test
Horses
heart rate
Heart Rate
horses
mouth
collars
behavior modification
outreach
Behavior Therapy
behavior change
Inhibition (Psychology)
normal values
surgery
Head

Keywords

  • Crib-biting
  • Cribbing collar
  • Equine welfare
  • Modified Forssell's operation
  • Stereotypic behaviour
  • Stress coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Animals

Cite this

The effect of a feeding stress-test on the behaviour and heart rate variability of control and crib-biting horses (with or without inhibition). / Nagy, Krisztina; Bodó, Gábor; Bárdos, G.; Harnos, Andrea; Kabai, P.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 121, No. 2, 11.2009, p. 140-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d4a04b01683146248eb659dbe4571ee0,
title = "The effect of a feeding stress-test on the behaviour and heart rate variability of control and crib-biting horses (with or without inhibition)",
abstract = "Crib-biting is a form of oral stereotypy affecting 4-5{\%} of horses. Once fixed, crib-biting is difficult to eliminate by behaviour therapy, however, its performance can be inhibited by collar or surgery treatment (modified Forssell's procedure). Although surgical intervention is widespread, the effects on stress coping in horses have not been studied. In the present study we evaluated changes in behaviour response and heart rate variability in 9 control, 10 crib-biting, 10 collar and 11 surgically treated horses in a feeding stress-test, in which a feeding-bowl was placed in front but out of the reach of the horses, from which tidbits were given 3 times. We found that stress triggers high oral activity, mainly cribbing in crib-biting horses, elevates other forms of oral activities in the inhibited groups and does not affect oral activities of controls. Instead of performing oral activities, control horses tended to target an unavailable feeding-bowl by pawing or head-tossing. Changes in stress level were indistinguishable in controls and crib-biters as heart rate variability returned to baseline values in both groups. In contrast, horses inhibited to perform crib-biting showed elevated stress level throughout the test period. Our results suggest that crib-biting may develop to cope with stress, and such coping function diminishes when inhibited.",
keywords = "Crib-biting, Cribbing collar, Equine welfare, Modified Forssell's operation, Stereotypic behaviour, Stress coping",
author = "Krisztina Nagy and G{\'a}bor Bod{\'o} and G. B{\'a}rdos and Andrea Harnos and P. Kabai",
year = "2009",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1016/j.applanim.2009.09.008",
language = "English",
volume = "121",
pages = "140--147",
journal = "Applied Animal Behaviour Science",
issn = "0168-1591",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of a feeding stress-test on the behaviour and heart rate variability of control and crib-biting horses (with or without inhibition)

AU - Nagy, Krisztina

AU - Bodó, Gábor

AU - Bárdos, G.

AU - Harnos, Andrea

AU - Kabai, P.

PY - 2009/11

Y1 - 2009/11

N2 - Crib-biting is a form of oral stereotypy affecting 4-5% of horses. Once fixed, crib-biting is difficult to eliminate by behaviour therapy, however, its performance can be inhibited by collar or surgery treatment (modified Forssell's procedure). Although surgical intervention is widespread, the effects on stress coping in horses have not been studied. In the present study we evaluated changes in behaviour response and heart rate variability in 9 control, 10 crib-biting, 10 collar and 11 surgically treated horses in a feeding stress-test, in which a feeding-bowl was placed in front but out of the reach of the horses, from which tidbits were given 3 times. We found that stress triggers high oral activity, mainly cribbing in crib-biting horses, elevates other forms of oral activities in the inhibited groups and does not affect oral activities of controls. Instead of performing oral activities, control horses tended to target an unavailable feeding-bowl by pawing or head-tossing. Changes in stress level were indistinguishable in controls and crib-biters as heart rate variability returned to baseline values in both groups. In contrast, horses inhibited to perform crib-biting showed elevated stress level throughout the test period. Our results suggest that crib-biting may develop to cope with stress, and such coping function diminishes when inhibited.

AB - Crib-biting is a form of oral stereotypy affecting 4-5% of horses. Once fixed, crib-biting is difficult to eliminate by behaviour therapy, however, its performance can be inhibited by collar or surgery treatment (modified Forssell's procedure). Although surgical intervention is widespread, the effects on stress coping in horses have not been studied. In the present study we evaluated changes in behaviour response and heart rate variability in 9 control, 10 crib-biting, 10 collar and 11 surgically treated horses in a feeding stress-test, in which a feeding-bowl was placed in front but out of the reach of the horses, from which tidbits were given 3 times. We found that stress triggers high oral activity, mainly cribbing in crib-biting horses, elevates other forms of oral activities in the inhibited groups and does not affect oral activities of controls. Instead of performing oral activities, control horses tended to target an unavailable feeding-bowl by pawing or head-tossing. Changes in stress level were indistinguishable in controls and crib-biters as heart rate variability returned to baseline values in both groups. In contrast, horses inhibited to perform crib-biting showed elevated stress level throughout the test period. Our results suggest that crib-biting may develop to cope with stress, and such coping function diminishes when inhibited.

KW - Crib-biting

KW - Cribbing collar

KW - Equine welfare

KW - Modified Forssell's operation

KW - Stereotypic behaviour

KW - Stress coping

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=72149118198&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=72149118198&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.09.008

DO - 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.09.008

M3 - Article

VL - 121

SP - 140

EP - 147

JO - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

JF - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

SN - 0168-1591

IS - 2

ER -