7th September 2010, 10:29am
New research into equine behaviour
crib biting horse Equine experts from the University of Lincoln are looking for horse owners to take part in a short study.

They are working with colleagues from the University of Liverpool on research into crib-biting and wind-sucking behaviour in horses and ponies.

The aim of the study is to obtain health and management data from horses that display crib-biting or wind-sucking behaviour in order to understand more about it and how it may be prevented or its effects lessened.

Crib-biting involves the horse seizing a fixed object with their front teeth and pulling back on it, tensing the neck muscles. A characteristic grunt will typically be heard and it is common for the horse to perform this behaviour in association with feeding, however, it can occur at any time.

Wind-sucking behaviour is similar to crib-biting but the horse does not grasp onto a fixed object. The horse will adopt the same posture and tension of the neck muscles as a crib-biter and will draw air into their mouth.

Participation in the study involves owners completing a brief questionnaire regarding details of their horse’s behaviour, health and daily routine. It should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Anyone interested in sharing their experience of either of the conditions should email cribbing@liv.ac.uk indicating willingness to participate in the study together with contact details and any questions. Alternatively you can call Miss Ebony Escalona (BSc Hons BVSc MRCVS) in the Dept of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Liverpool on 07961 809 633.

A study pack will be sent out to you with a stamped envelope for you to return. Participation is voluntary and all responses are completely confidential and will not be released to any other parties.

The information that participants provide will be maintained and analysed by the principal investigator and Dr. Debra Archer (study supervisor) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool
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