Discovering the Relationship between Dietary Nutrients on Cortisol and Ghrelin Hormones in Horses Exhibiting Oral Stereotypic behaviour: A Review

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Farah Hanis, Eric Lim Teik Chung, Mamat Hamidi Kamalludin, Zulkifli Idrus
Journal of Veterinary Behavior
, , , , , ,

This review focuses on associations of cortisol and the hormone ghrelin on abnormal oral behaviours, predominantly stereotypic behaviour, in horses. Abnormal oral behaviours are prevalent in the stabled horse population. Feeding practice and satiety seem to play a significant role in the development of the behaviours. The effect of macronutrients on the occurrence of abnormal oral behaviours and satiety remain to be elucidated in horses. Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, is produced by the ghrelinergic cells in the gastrointestinal tract. Ghrelin is found to be involved in various physiological processes such as stress, eating disorders and food selection. Feed preference in horses is chiefly controlled by their ability to distinguish macronutrients in the food, so the novel approach of the use of ghrelin to tackle the problem in the abnormal oral behaviours may provide promising findings in future research into the occurrence and management of equine stereotypies.


Back to Resources