Twenty-seven Murgese foals (6 males 21 months old, 10 males 9 months old, 11 females 9 months old) were used to assess the effects of age and sex on their response to three different environmental challenges: open field (OF), novel object (NO) and bridge test (BT). Tests were conducted in a 11x10 m outdoor paddock, novel to the animals, with earth floor and solid walls. In the open field and novel object (a pink balloon of 0.41 m diameter) tests, animals were individually confined for 3 and 4 min, respectively, and their behaviour video-recorded. In BT an unfamiliar person led the horse trying to make it cross the bridge (foam blue mattress, 200x100x10 cm). The test was stopped after 10 min or when the horse crossed the bridge with at least three feet. Latency time to succeed, number of attempts and number of attempts/latency time were recorded. Younger males showed higher per cent vigilance (20.58±4.23 vs. 0.00±5.47%, P<0.01, and 28.25±4.77 vs. 8.26±6.15%, P<0.05, in OF and NO, respectively) sustained walking in OF (10.98±2.94% vs. 0.00±3.79%, P<0.05) and number of vocalisations in NO (2.3±0.40 vs. 0.17±0.52, P<0.01). They also showed higher latency time to touch NO (3.23±0.41 vs. 1.82±0.53 min, P<0.05) and to cross the bridge (8.16±1.19 vs. 4.38±1.54 min, P<0.05) compared with older males. The latter were all able to cross the bridge (100 vs. 30%, P<0.01) and to touch the NO (100 vs. 60%, P<0.10). At 9 months of age females exhibited lower latency time to touch NO (1.60±0.43 vs. 3.23±0.46 min, P<0.05) and tended to show a higher number of touches and time spent nosing NO as compared with males of the same age (1.73±0.36 vs. 0.80±0.38, P<0.10 and 1.66±0.44 vs. 0.50±0.46%, P<0.10, respectively). In addition, a higher percentage of females touched NO (72.7 vs. 30.0%, P<0.05). They also vocalised more than males both in OF and in NO tests (6.91±1.39 vs. 2.70±1.46 and 6.91±1.45 vs. 2.30±1.53, P<0.05, respectively). Several variables were able to discriminate among different categories of Murgese foals. Further studies are needed to assess consistency across ages and generations for possible inclusion of reliable parameters in future breeding programmes.

Assessing temperament of Murgese foals.

DE ROSA, GIUSEPPE;
2014

Abstract

Twenty-seven Murgese foals (6 males 21 months old, 10 males 9 months old, 11 females 9 months old) were used to assess the effects of age and sex on their response to three different environmental challenges: open field (OF), novel object (NO) and bridge test (BT). Tests were conducted in a 11x10 m outdoor paddock, novel to the animals, with earth floor and solid walls. In the open field and novel object (a pink balloon of 0.41 m diameter) tests, animals were individually confined for 3 and 4 min, respectively, and their behaviour video-recorded. In BT an unfamiliar person led the horse trying to make it cross the bridge (foam blue mattress, 200x100x10 cm). The test was stopped after 10 min or when the horse crossed the bridge with at least three feet. Latency time to succeed, number of attempts and number of attempts/latency time were recorded. Younger males showed higher per cent vigilance (20.58±4.23 vs. 0.00±5.47%, P<0.01, and 28.25±4.77 vs. 8.26±6.15%, P<0.05, in OF and NO, respectively) sustained walking in OF (10.98±2.94% vs. 0.00±3.79%, P<0.05) and number of vocalisations in NO (2.3±0.40 vs. 0.17±0.52, P<0.01). They also showed higher latency time to touch NO (3.23±0.41 vs. 1.82±0.53 min, P<0.05) and to cross the bridge (8.16±1.19 vs. 4.38±1.54 min, P<0.05) compared with older males. The latter were all able to cross the bridge (100 vs. 30%, P<0.01) and to touch the NO (100 vs. 60%, P<0.10). At 9 months of age females exhibited lower latency time to touch NO (1.60±0.43 vs. 3.23±0.46 min, P<0.05) and tended to show a higher number of touches and time spent nosing NO as compared with males of the same age (1.73±0.36 vs. 0.80±0.38, P<0.10 and 1.66±0.44 vs. 0.50±0.46%, P<0.10, respectively). In addition, a higher percentage of females touched NO (72.7 vs. 30.0%, P<0.05). They also vocalised more than males both in OF and in NO tests (6.91±1.39 vs. 2.70±1.46 and 6.91±1.45 vs. 2.30±1.53, P<0.05, respectively). Several variables were able to discriminate among different categories of Murgese foals. Further studies are needed to assess consistency across ages and generations for possible inclusion of reliable parameters in future breeding programmes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/584699
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