1983 Volume 54 Issue 7 Pages 464-469
Investigations were made on the seasonal changes in the diurnal patterns of activities and time spent grazing and resting of Misaki horses living under a wild-like condition in order to analyze their behavioral adaptation to their environment. Fifty-five continuous observations ranging from 2 to 24 hours were made on the behavior of 12 adult horses during the period from June, 1979 to August, 1982. Almost all horses grazed predominantly around dusk, in midnight and soon before dawn in summer. In winter they usually began to graze near dawn and spent more grazing time and less resting time during warm daylight hours and spent more resting time at cold night. Total time spent grazing and time spent grazing at night were longer in summer than in winter. On the other hand, total time spent resting and time spent resting at night were longer in winter than in summer, although food available was poor in quality and quantity in winter. It is suggested that these seasonal changes in behavioral patterns might result in reduction in energy expenditure due to grazing or brawsing and in conservation of body energy in winter.