Cribbing is a stereotypy (apparently functionless repetitive behavior) characterized by grabbing an upright item with all the teeth and pulling from the object with a curved neck and drawing atmosphere. Ponies usually lick a surface that they are about to make use of for a cribbing bout (Whisher et al., 2011). Ponies that crib may spend between 15percent - 65per cent of their time carrying out this stereotypy (Wickens and Heleski, 2010). Roughly 4.4percent of ponies in the usa are cribbers (Albright et al., 2009).
Cribbing will not be reported in feral ponies which are free ranging (Wickens and Heleski, 2010), it is therefore feasible that facets of management could cause the cribbing behavior. Particular factors that cause cribbing tend to be however become determined and behavior can be due to a variety of elements. Diet plan, genetics, boredom, stress, and copying another horse have got all already been suggested as reasons for cribbing (Litva et al., 2010).
Horses that have even more grain inside their diet have-been shown to be at an elevated chance of developing stereotypies, while increased roughage when you look at the diet has-been involving a decreased threat of establishing stereotypies (Redbo et al., 1998). This holds true for cribbing, as one study found that feeding focus to younger horses just after weaning had been of a four-fold escalation in manifestation of cribbing (Waters et al., 2002). In addition it seems that style of grain also plays a task as horses fed sweet feed have been proven to crib significantly more than ponies fed oats (Whisher et al., 2011).
If horses discover cribbing behavior from horses that currently crib has not been substantiated. In a study of horse owners, just onepercent of ponies had been reported to own created a cribbing practice after exposure to another cribbing horse (Albright et al., 2009) making it appear that horses are not likely to master cribbing behavior from one another.
Genetics may also be the cause, as Thoroughbreds and warmbloods are more inclined to crib when compared with various other breeds (Wickens and Heleski, 2010). A report of horses in Finland found the heritability of cribbing has been determined at 0.68, which means cribbing will be passed onto offspring (Hemmann et al., 2014).
Potential implications the cribbing horse
Horses that crib could have increased wear to their incisors. This wear may not cause issues the horse until they're older and those teeth come to be at risk of falling-out. The extra use on these teeth may eventually reduce living of this horse since they are not able to consume since efficiently without these incisors. Additionally, cribbing ponies could be more difficult keepers because of hanging out cribbing in the place of consuming together with increased power expenditure through the act of cribbing (Wickens and Heleski, 2010).
Cribbing is a danger element for multiple problems. Especially cribbing horses are at danger for colic (Archer et al., 2008; Malamed et al., 2010). Furthermore, it has been found that cribbing horses are more likely to have tummy ulcers than non-cribbing horses (Nicol et al., 2002). Cribbing is even a risk element for equine motor neuron infection (De la Rua-Domenech et al., 1997). All of these problems donate to the unpopularity of cribbing horses and a possible decrease in market value (McGreevy and Nicol, 1998c).
Avoiding the onset of cribbing behavior
Without knowing the exact cause for cribbing behavior in horses, prevention can be difficult. We can say for certain that cribbing manifests in young ponies, typically around 20 months of age (Waters et al., 2002) and many of those ponies exhibited timber chewing behavior before manifestation of cribbing (Waters et al., 2002). Additionally, paid off danger of cribbing is associated with increased time spent outside, personal connection with other ponies, and maintaining foals entirely on lawn through weaning procedure (Wickens and Heleski, 2010). As soon as cribbing behavior is initiated, it is unlikely that a horse will ever completely cease to demonstrate the behavior.
Cribbers will vary
There are several researches that suggest that cribbing ponies might have some physiological and psychological differences from their particular non-cribbing colleagues.
Ponies that crib may also have atypical hormones amounts when comparing to non-cribbing horses. They have reduced plasma degrees of leptin, which will be a hormone in regulating appetite plus the incentive center regarding the brain (Hemmann et al., 2013). These horses had been in addition discovered having greater circulating quantities of gastrin, a hormone associated with triggering the production of stomach acid (Wickens et al., 2013). These hormone levels may describe distinctions discovered between cribbing and non-cribbing ponies in learning and belly ulceration.
Ponies that show cribbing behavior may respond to situations in a different way than their non-cribbing counterparts. One research shows that cribbers learn differently than non-cribbing horses (Parker et al., 2008). However, proprietors giving an answer to a survey stated that cribbing ponies had less anxious temperaments and had been equally trainable when compared to non-cribbing horses (Nagy et al., 2010). Another research discovered that cribbers usually practice dental task whenever stressed, whereas non-cribbing ponies toss their particular heads or paw whenever similarly stressed (Nagy et al., 2009). When the cribbing ponies had been prevented from cribbing, some involved with various other oral task.