Input Sought on Horse Weaning Survey

Input Sought on Horse Weaning Survey

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Researchers in the United Kingdom are seeking input on a survey for a study on weaning methods.

Catherine Williams, a research masters student at Plymouth University is researching the differing weaning methods currently used in the equine industry.

“Much research has been conducted in this area and, whilst many agree that the weaning process can be highly stressful, none can decide on best practice,” she said. “The aim of my program of research is to begin to set out some general guidelines regarding the ideal weaning method whilst limiting stress. It is intended that these will help to address any concerns over the welfare of the individuals involved.”

Williams said she anticipates the outcomes of her research will benefit both the foals both at weaning time and later in life.

“The need to investigate the influence that humans have on the on the young animal is being recognized and how these may impact on individuals for the rest of their lives,” she said.

She said the initial part of the study involves a short survey exploring the weaning methods used by breeders and the reasoning behind them, followed by a behavioral study of various weaning methods.

The survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/equineweaning.

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