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The Behaviour of Stallions in a Semiferal Herd in Iceland: Time Budgets, Home Ranges, and Interactions
University of Iceland, Iceland.
Bioforsk Ost, Norway; The Agricultural University of Iceland, Iceland.
The Agricultural University of Iceland, Iceland.
Institute of Freshwater Fisheries and The Icelandic Seal Center, Iceland.
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Zoology, ISSN 1687-8477, E-ISSN 1687-8485, 162982Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A permanent herd of Icelandic horses with four stallions and their harems was studied for a total of 316 hours in a large pasture (215 ha) inMay 2007 in Iceland. Interactions between stallions of different harems and other aspects of the horses’ behaviour were studied. One stallion and nine horses were introduced into the pasture prior to the study to examine the reactions of the resident stallions to a newcomer. The stallions spent significantly less time grazing than other horses and were more vigilant. Home ranges overlapped, but harems never mixed. The stallions prevented interactions between members of different harems indirectly by herding. Generally, interactions between resident stallions were nonviolent. However, encounters with the introduced stallion were more aggressive and more frequent than between the other stallions. Here, we show that four harems can share the same enclosure peacefully. The social network seems to keep aggression at a low level both within the harems and the herd as a whole. We encourage horse owners to consider the feasibility of keeping their horses in large groups because of low aggression and because such a strategy gives the young horses good opportunities to develop normally, both physically and socially.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 162982
National Category
Agricultural Science Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96051DOI: 10.1155/2012/162982OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-96051DiVA: diva2:663029
Available from: 2013-11-08 Created: 2013-11-08 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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