Equid play ethogram

An ethogram of play behavior among equids was developed. Several key English-language studies on equids were reviewed to derive a preliminary inventory of specific behaviors to be included in the ethogram. Our primary observations were based on a herd of semi-feral Shetland-type ponies kept at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, […]

Mother–offspring relationships in donkeys

The social relationship between female domestic donkeys (jennies) and their offspring was explored by observation of their spatial relationship. The donkeys were kept together for life and the ages of the offspring at the beginning of the observation period ranged from a few hours to 13 yr. There was a gradual change in the jenny–foal […]

Welfare assessment of working donkeys: assessment of the impact of an animal healthcare project in West Kenya

Development agencies and animal welfare charities try to improve the health and welfare of livestock in the developing world by educating owners and providing healthcare. The impact assessment of these projects relies mainly upon input-related parameters (eg number of animals treated or educational lectures delivered). The aim of this study was to investigate whether animal-based […]

Repeatability of a skin tent test for dehydration in working horses and donkeys

Dehydration is a serious welfare issue for equines working in developing countries. Risk factors such as high ambient temperature, heavy workload and poor water availability are exacerbated by the traditional belief that provision of water to working animals will reduce their strength or cause colic and muscle cramps. As part of the welfare assessment of […]

Non-economic incentives to improve animal welfare: positive competition as a driver for change among owners of draught and pack animals in India

Since 2005, owners of draught and pack horses, mules and donkeys in nine districts of Uttar Pradesh, India, have received support from a UK-based charity, the Brooke. One thousand, three hundred and ninety-six village-level groups of owners and carers, responsible for 29,500 animals, were facilitated to develop their own welfare assessment protocols using a participatory […]

Space availability influence laterality in donkeys (Equus asinus)

Cerebral lateralization is the portioning of the cognitive functions between the two cerebral hemispheres. Several factors, like embryological manipulations, light exposure, health conditions, sex and age can influence the left–right brain asymmetries and contribute to increasing the variability in the strength and direction of laterality within most species. We investigated the influence of an environmental […]

Male isolation: A behavioral representation of the pheromonal ‘female effect’ in donkey (Equus asinus)

Abstract The appearance of a decisive component of the sexual response to chemosexual signals in the male donkey was investigated through a comparison of the variations in the time-span of the behavioral classes and units for the natural versus induced breeding seasons. The results demonstrate that there are significant variations in the length of the […]

A functional approach to the body condition assessment of lactating donkeys as a tool for welfare evaluation

Background. The breeding of lactating donkeys is increasing in Western Europe; with it the evaluation of body condition is growing in importance since it is considered a key principle for their welfare. However, assessment of body condition is a complex task, since several factors are involved. The aim of the present study is to investigate […]