Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Continues 24-hour measurements of behavior differences in Arabian Horses (2005)

    Kuhne, F.
    Scheibe, K.
    Struwe, R.
    Measuring Behavior 2005; 5th International Conference on Methods and Techniques
    Wageningen/The Netherlands, 30.08. – 02.09.2005
    Measuring Behavior 2005
    Wageningen: Noldus Information Technology, 2005 — S. 175
    ISBN: 90-74821-70-7
    Institut für Tierschutz und Tierverhalten

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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Continuous visual observations were carried out over 24-hours on 36 days of the year on Arabian Horses. The days were equally distributed over the complete year. The frequency of a particular behaviour and the average duration of action were measured for each horse. The seasonal variations of basic behaviors were described in three-dimensional plots. The Kendall"s coefficient of concordance (w) was used to determine the synchronization of the 24-hour time budget among the horses.

    This study represents an attempt to examine whether the horses exhibited significant behavioral synchrony, whether the local limited supply of particular resources had an effect on the 24-hour time budget, and if there were behavior pattern differences among the horses, whether the measurements might regarding the total time of a particular behavior rather than the frequency or average duration each.

    The horses spent 13-17 h of the 24-hour period feeding and rested 5.5-8.5 h daily. The individual differences could be observed with the help of the mean grazing frequency of 7-11 times a day with an average duration of 17-34 minutes per action. Hay feeding was documented with a frequency of 16-24 times a day, lasting 21-37 minutes each. The synchronization of the foraging behavior (w= 0,419, p=0,000) and of the resting behavior (w=0,504, p=0,000) have been observed in only a mean degree among the horses. A strong social synchronization as often described in natural family groups was less expressed in this herd.

    The observation showed that:
    1. These horses did not clearly develop equal diurnal and seasonal rhythms of feeding or resting behavior.
    2. The behavior pattern differences may not have resulted mainly from the average time of a particular behavior rather than from the frequency or the average duration of each.
    3. The average of selected behavior in a small group of animals might have ignored the problem of individuality in using free available resources and the problem of the locally limited supply of particular resources.

    Behaviour frequency (meals or resting/day) and duration (min/ meal or resting) throughout the year are useful to determine the time spent feeding and resting (min/day and year). These measurements are necessary to analyze social synchrony.