Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Domestic Foal Weaning: Need for Re-Thinking Breeding Practices?

Abstract : Artificial weaning is a standard practice known to be one of the most stressful events in a domestic foal's life. Research has mainly focused on ways to alleviate weaning stress. However, there is still a need for more detailed research on what should constitute best practices with respect to animal welfare. The aim of this review is to address this issue by examining the natural weaning process. We first provide an overview of the scientific literature on the natural temporal dynamics of the dam-offspring bond in horses: it is to be noted that the natural process of weaning is little documented, individual variations have been poorly investigated and immediate effects of weaning on the mare-foal relationship remain unexplored. To partly address these gaps, we performed a study around the weaning period on 16 mare-foal pairs kept with minimal human interference. Most foals were weaned spontaneously when 9-10 months old, with individual variations mainly due to the conception rate of mares. Natural weaning induced no stress response in either partner and was performed without clear signs of rejection by the dams either just before or after. We lastly open up the discussion on the need for rethinking weaning practices under domestic conditions.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [93 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02500885
Contributor : Umr6552 Ethos <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 6, 2020 - 1:51:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 3:23:34 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, June 7, 2020 - 2:28:34 PM

File

Henry_et_al_-_Animals-2020.pdf
Publication funded by an institution

Identifiers

Citation

Séverine Henry, Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir, Aziliz Klapper, Julie Joubert, Gabrielle Montier, et al.. Domestic Foal Weaning: Need for Re-Thinking Breeding Practices?. Animals, MDPI, 2020, 10 (2), pp.361. ⟨10.3390/ani10020361⟩. ⟨hal-02500885⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

141

Files downloads

214