PILOPHAGIA – hair-bivory in horses

Some of you may have noticed that many of the Koniks in our recent series of photos have very short tails. The culprit it seems, is not the water-bogged habitat they live in, or at least not totally, it is that some foals are HAIR-BIVORES instead of herbivores. Thanks to Dr. Machteld van Dierendonck, for pointing this behaviour out.

This hair-bivory is also known as Pilophagia which is characterized by the licking and eating of hair and body coat. Below are some images taken during a visit to the Konik ponies at the Oostvaardenplasser reserve.

In the images below a foal chews and licks the tail hairs of a stallion.

We hope you enjoy the images!

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