Crib-biting behavior in horses: A review

During the past decade, stereotypic behavior in horses, specifically crib-biting behavior, has received considerable attention in the scientific literature. Epidemiological and experimental studies designed to investigate crib-biting behavior have provided valuable insight into the prevalence, underlying mechanisms, and owner perceptions of the behavior. The findings of these studies have demonstrated how the management of horses […]

Can’t stop, won’t stop: is stereotypy a reliable animal welfare indicator?

We estimate that stereotypies are currently displayed by over 85 million farm, laboratory and zoo animals worldwide. This paper investigates their reliability as welfare indicators, by surveying studies relating stereotypy to other welfare measures and by analysing the mechanisms underlying this behaviour. Where data exist, most (approximately 68%) situations that cause/increase stereotypies also decrease welfare. […]

Motivation for cribbing by horses

The motivation to crib was compared to the motivation to eat. Eight horses (Equus caballus) were operantly conditioned to push a switch for the opportunity to crib. When a progressive ratio was imposed, they worked as hard for a cribbing opportunity as for the opportunity to eat sweetened grain indicating a high demand. Another measure […]

Differences in Temperament Traits Between Crib-Biting and Control Horses

Recent studies have suggested that crib-biting in horses is associated with diminished capacity of learning or coping with stress. Such findings raise the question whether trainability, which is fundamentally important in practice, could also be affected by stereotypic behaviour. Trainability of a horse is difficult to assess in simple tests, however, it is reliably estimated […]