ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR -STEREOTYPIES
order to recognize that behaviour is abnormal , the person observing must be
familiar with the normal behaviour of that species.
difficulty arises if many of the animals
kept show the same kind of abnormal behaviour,may be taken as normal
behaviour.eg:bar biting in sows.
order to obtain knowledge of the behavioural repertoire of animals and
establish what is normality it is necessary to study the animals in a
relatively complex environment where they have the opportunity to show the full
range of their behaviour,it would not be the wild environment but it should provide all the components that
are important for the animal.
extensive knowledge of the biology of
animals and a detailed ecological investigation are therefore needed to
decide what behaviour is abnormal.
behaviour is behaviour that differs in pattern, frequency or context from that
which is shown by most members of a
species in conditions that allow a full range of behaviour.
2.Self directed and Environment directed
3.Addressed to another individual
4.Failure of function
It is a repeated ,relativelyinvariate
sequence of movements which has no
Behavioural repertoires of animals such as walking,flapping flight would not be called stereotypies rather it should have some apparent lack of
By the time stereotypy is established no
simple function is served.
Physiology of stereotypy:
performance of stereotyped behaviour depends on brain dopamine systems and
opiate peptides in the brain.
,which blocks the mu receptor opiate
sites for opioids such as beta endorphin,when administered cease the
that showed much stereotypy had lower mu and kappa receptorsand lower dopamine
in the frontal cortex,while horses shoeing more stereotypies had more dopamine
receptors in the nucleus.
occur in situations where the individual
lacks control of its environment.
about food inadequacy
environment,housing in individual stables
Occurrence of stereotypies can be
alleviated or eradicated by appropriate environmental enrichment.
or route tracing
and tail chasing.
,swaying and weaving
other parts of the
and stall kickingbody
shaking and head nodding
or crib whetting oral part
biting ,tether biting or crib biting
OR ROUTE TRACING
The repeated action patterns during pacing or
route tracing are those used in walking
or other locomotion,but the animal follows a path that reurns to its
origin and which is often repeated with only minor modifications.
1.Route tracing of zoo animals in cages
2.Horses under conditions of minimal
exercise in chronic confinement
3.Hens before oviposition if no nest material is available.
1.Frustration due to confinement,absence
of social partner,absence of food.
Providing comfortable environment by
eliminating thwarting circumstances.
OR TAIL CHASING
turn in tight circles and try to catch their own tails.
Tail chasing in dogs.
Treatment if it is neurological or
Remove the frustrating situation.
, SWAYING AND WEAVING:
The animal remains in one place,but
the body is moved forwards and
backwards from side to side, with or
without head swinging.
Monkeys in captivity
Horses and cattle when tethered show rocky
Weaving in race horses,resulting in
No companies ,deprived of mother.
No variety in the environment
Tying the horse with cross chains to
limit the lateral movement of the head.
Turning out to pasture ,Enforced
Some part of the body is moved against solid object and the movement is repeated so many times ,sometimes to
alleviate local irritation.
Close confinement, chronic restriction
Horned cattle rubbing against wall.
Head rubbing in pigs
Horses rubbing hindquarters.
5)PAWING AND STALL KICKING
Pawing is a normal behaviour of four
legged animals,it becomes abnormal when performed with vigour in a persistent
Frustration in dogs
Attention seeking in horses in case of stall kicking
Putting in pasture
mats or barriers
SHAKING OR HEAD NODDING
Head is moved vertically,laterally with
a rotatory movement of neck.
Head shaking in domestic fowl.
Head nodding in horses
Close presence of observer in caged
Noxious gas in poultry house.
Remedy :Comfortable environment
Movements during which air is sucked in and expelled.
Common in horses
Use of wind sucker strap fastened
tightly around the throat,with a heart shaped piece of thick leather held
between the angles of the jaws with the pointed end protruding towards a
pharyngeal area, which causes discomfort
to the horses.
Creation of fistulae on each side of the
mouth between the buccal cavity and outer cheek.
The eyes are moved around in the orbit
at a time when no visible object is present.
Young calves confined in crates
sometimes stand immobile for extended
periods and eye rolling is repeated.
jaws when the animal has no food in its mouth in monogastric animals.
Common in sows when tethered in stalls singly causes
frothing and foaming of saliva.
Providing straw or fibrous material to
chew and root.
The tongue is extruded from the mouth
and moved by curling and uncurling outside or inside the mouth with no solid matter present.
Common in Cattle and calves immediately
before and after feeding.In horses it is called as tongue drawing
Wind sucking traps
Insertion of metal ring at the frenulum
Provision of salt licks
AND CRIB WHETTING
Tongue is applied repeatedly to an areas of animal’s own body
or some objects in the surroundings.
Good supply of feed
BAR BITING ,TETHER BITING OR CRIB BITING
The animal opens and closes its mouth
around a bar and performs chewing movement.
Pregnant sows which are more restricted
show this behaviour. Crate in front and sides are made of metal piping or
tethers that restrict the movement of the sow
Bar-biting is common in cattle. Crib
–biting is common in horses
Providing straw and increasing the food,
Pressing automated drinker repeatedly without
Common in pregnant sows when provided
with a nipple drinker.
BROOM DM.1999.FARM ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR AND WELFARE