RESEARCH ON THE FEEDING BEHAVIOR OF FOALS
E. Köntés, M.I. Pop
Due to the evolution of technologies and sociocultural changes of the last decades, the employment of the equines in Romania has changed thoroughly.
Between 2014 and 2017, twenty foals have been observed at three farms in Covasna County, from birth to weaning. Data has been collected from intervals defined by the research protocol. Foals have been observed during the first six months of their lives, the data from their first seven days being analysed in two segments: days 0-2 and days 3-7, followed by days 28-30 and 178-180.
During observation biometric data was recorded, and also data regarding to the feeding behaviour of foals, like for example: the time after birth when first suckling was starting, the number and duration of suckling sessions, the passing of meconium, the occurrence of some foal behaviour patterns, the start of other food consumption, and the differences in feeding behaviour due to age and gender of the foals.
With the foals aging, a decreasing tendency in the number and duration of suckling sessions has been observed, and also differences due to the gender and the breed of the foals have been noticed.
Key words: Foals, colostrum, feeding behaviour