Presentation Title

Arabian horse foal information as a bioassay for environmental and husbandry changes

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Cord Brundage

Start Date

17-11-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 2:30 PM

Location

HARBESON 21

Session

POSTER 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

The Arabian Horse breeding program is institutionally mandated at Cal Poly Pomona and has been since its inception. Environmental factors such as changes in weather and precipitation levels play a major role in foal development, and may be used as a bioassay to evaluate husbandry, care and climate change. Using the Cal Poly Pomona Arabian horses as a sentinel species we evaluated gestation length, animal’s size at birth (height & weight), ability to stand, time until the first nursing, as well as rate of growth within the 1st two months. These were evaluated for all foals born during the 2017 (n =17) and 2018 (n=10) birthing season and this data were compared to data collected in 2012 (n = 9). The average gestation length of Arabian foals born in 2018 (0.33 days +/- 6.46 days) showed lower variation and a greater prediction accuracy rate compared to Arabian foals born in 2017 and 2012 (5.86 days +/- 10.48 days and 5.44 days +/- 12.78 days respectively). There was a significantly higher birth weight in the Arabian foals born in 2018 and 2017 (56.9 kg +/- 22.2 kg and 57.95 kg +/- 16.00 kg) compared to Arabian foals born in 2012 (49.51 kg +/- 16.18 kg). No other parameters evaluated differed significantly between foal cohorts. This data will be compared to archival data to further evaluate changes in foal parameters and evaluate the factors that may be associated with shifts and trend. From the current data set we can conclude that gestation length and birthweight have an increased acuity and may be useful as early indicators of environmental change impact on horse populations.

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Nov 17th, 12:30 PM Nov 17th, 2:30 PM

Arabian horse foal information as a bioassay for environmental and husbandry changes

HARBESON 21

The Arabian Horse breeding program is institutionally mandated at Cal Poly Pomona and has been since its inception. Environmental factors such as changes in weather and precipitation levels play a major role in foal development, and may be used as a bioassay to evaluate husbandry, care and climate change. Using the Cal Poly Pomona Arabian horses as a sentinel species we evaluated gestation length, animal’s size at birth (height & weight), ability to stand, time until the first nursing, as well as rate of growth within the 1st two months. These were evaluated for all foals born during the 2017 (n =17) and 2018 (n=10) birthing season and this data were compared to data collected in 2012 (n = 9). The average gestation length of Arabian foals born in 2018 (0.33 days +/- 6.46 days) showed lower variation and a greater prediction accuracy rate compared to Arabian foals born in 2017 and 2012 (5.86 days +/- 10.48 days and 5.44 days +/- 12.78 days respectively). There was a significantly higher birth weight in the Arabian foals born in 2018 and 2017 (56.9 kg +/- 22.2 kg and 57.95 kg +/- 16.00 kg) compared to Arabian foals born in 2012 (49.51 kg +/- 16.18 kg). No other parameters evaluated differed significantly between foal cohorts. This data will be compared to archival data to further evaluate changes in foal parameters and evaluate the factors that may be associated with shifts and trend. From the current data set we can conclude that gestation length and birthweight have an increased acuity and may be useful as early indicators of environmental change impact on horse populations.