Equine Branding Stress

I recently read an article discussing how much stress permanent identification causes horses. The study compared the stresses of hot branding to micro-chipping. I’m all for permanent means of identifying horses in order to make it easier to get them back if they are ever separated from their owners and found this article interesting.

The article published by The Horse and written by Christa Leste-Lasserre measured foals heart rates, skin temperature, cortisol levels, and general physical reactions when they were hot branded and microchipped.  Interestingly enough, the reactions and relative stress level were about the same.

I was surprised by this – I’ve always heard the horror stories from hot branding and thought that implanting a microchip would be much easier on an animal.  My only concerns is that this was a very small study, only 14 horses, and I’m curious why they didn’t study freeze branding as well.  Everything I’ve read about freeze branding makes it sound the most humane.

If you are interested in reading the article for yourself, click here:  http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=19025

About Heather Hamel

Growing up with horses is a little girls dream come true. Heather’s dream in life was to be a horse trainer - how dreams change - sort of! She moved to the wonderfully historic town of St. Augustine, Florida and was a historic tour guide and a ghost story teller while putting herself through college to become a special education teacher. After graduating, she felt the pull of horses in her life again. That's when she met Kobi! She learned quickly that when you own horses you become a part time vet, part time nutritionist, and full time equestrian. She wouldn't change a thing! In addition to being completely obsessed with her herd, she still teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, and more specifically, dyslexia.
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1 Response to Equine Branding Stress

  1. Mom says:

    I didn’t realize you wanted comments until you said Tim doesn’t make comments. My comment is to keep them coming I enjoy reading them. Love Mom

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