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  1. Does group size have an impact on welfare indicators in fattening pigs?

    Contributor(s):: Meyer-Hamme, S. E. K., Lambertz, C., Gauly, M.

    Production systems for fattening pigs have been characterized over the last 2 decades by rising farm sizes coupled with increasing group sizes. These developments resulted in a serious public discussion regarding animal welfare and health in these intensive production systems. Even though large...

  2. Dustbathing, pecking and scratching behaviours of laying hens in furnished cages are enhanced by the presence of rubber mats and litter distribution

    Contributor(s):: Guinebretiere, M., Michel, V., Arnould, C.

    Furnished cages for laying hens exist in a wide variety of sizes and designs and should be equipped to allow hens to express some of their behavioural priorities. European Council Directive 1999/74/EC stipulates that litter must be provided for pecking and scratching but the type of litter and...

  3. Application of the Welfare Quality animal welfare assessment system in Finnish pig production, Part II: Associations between animal-based and environmental measures of welfare

    Contributor(s):: Munsterhjelm, C., Heinonen, M., Valros, A.

    This study aimed to establish associations between the environment and animal-based measures of welfare collected on 158 Finnish farms according to the Welfare Quality systems for pigs. The data consisted of 95 welfare assessments in fattening pigs and 103 in sows, including suckling piglets....

  4. Comparison of the behaviour of piglets raised in an artificial rearing system or reared by the sow

    Contributor(s):: Rzezniczek, M., Gygax, L., Wechsler, B., Weber, R.

    Over the last 15 years, rising sow fertility has led to a considerable increase in litter size. As a consequence, the number of live born piglets may outnumber the number of functional teats, and surplus piglets are removed from the sow at the age of 3-6 days and fed with artificial milk. The...

  5. Evidence of competition for nest sites by laying hens in large furnished cages

    Contributor(s):: Hunniford, M. E., Torrey, S., Bedecarrats, G., Duncan, I. J. H., Widowski, T. M.

    Furnished cages are designed to accommodate behaviour considered important to laying hens, particularly nesting behaviour. Few researchers have studied the degree of competition for nest sites or the extent to which the amount of nest space affects nesting behaviour in large furnished cages. We...

  6. The relevance of variations in group size and phenotypic appearance on the behaviour and movement patterns of young domestic fowl

    Contributor(s):: Liste, G., Campderrich, I., Beltran Heredia, I. de, Estevez, I.

    Variations in the group size of laying hens might increase the risk of undesired behaviours with important consequences for the birds' health and welfare. However, larger groups housed at constant densities also translate into larger enclosures that may increase space efficiency, therefore...

  7. The effects of human age, group composition, and behavior on the likelihood of being injured by attacking pumas

    Contributor(s):: Coss, R. G., Fitzhugh, L. E., Schmid-Holmes, S., Kenyon, M. W., Etling, K.

    Documentation from the years 1890 to 2000 of 185 instances of pumas (Puma concolor) attacking humans in the United States and Canada has provided statistical evidence that pumas are less likely to kill or injure humans in certain circumstances. We identified incidents of fatal attacks, severe...

  8. Predicting feather damage in laying hens during the laying period. Is it the past or is it the present?

    Contributor(s):: Haas, E. N. de, Bolhuis, J. E., Jong, I. C. de, Kemp, B., Janczak, A. M., Rodenburg, T. B.

    Feather damage due to severe feather pecking (SFP) in laying hens is most severe during the laying period. However, SFP can develop at an early age and is influenced by early rearing conditions. In this study we assessed the risk factors during the rearing and laying period for feather damage at...

  9. Swedish cat shelters: a descriptive survey of husbandry practices, routines and management

    Contributor(s):: Hirsch, E. N., Andersson, M., Loberg, J.

    Animal shelters rescue and care for society's unwanted companion animals. Nonetheless, several studies have shown that ending up in a shelter can be stressful, and that shelter husbandry can amplify and spread certain diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate and describe...

  10. Aggression and welfare in a common aquarium fish, the Midas cichlid

    Contributor(s):: Oldfield, R. G.

    Many species of fishes are aggressive when placed in small aquaria. Aggression can negatively affect the welfare of those individuals toward whom it is directed. Animals may behave aggressively in order to defend resources such as food, shelter, mates, and offspring. The decision to defend...

  11. Dairy cow behavior and welfare implications of time waiting before entry into the milking parlor

    Contributor(s):: Dijkstra, C., Veermae, I., Praks, J., Poikalainen, V., Arney, D. R.

    The objective of this study was to investigate dairy cows' time spent in the possibly stressful waiting area (WA) of the milking parlor (MP) and their behavioral patterns while there and thereby investigate comparative effects on their welfare. The experiments were carried out in 3 loose-housing...

  12. Rat's demand for group size

    Contributor(s):: Patterson-Kane, E. P., Hunt, M., Harper, D.

    Social isolation compromises the welfare of rats. However, it is not clear how many rats should be housed together under laboratory conditions. Pair housing, sometimes recommended over group housing, may help avoid aggression and disease transmission. Female rats, however, showed the highest...

  13. The welfare and productivity of dry sows in different group housing systems in New Zealand

    Contributor(s):: Chidgey, K. L., Morel, P. C. H., Barugh, I. W.

    This research aimed to evaluate sow welfare and identify potential welfare compromise in specific group housing systems for sows in New Zealand. The relationship between overall welfare outcome on-farm and sow productivity was also investigated. Twenty commercial farms were chosen to represent...

  14. Chewable materials before weaning reduce tail biting in growing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Telkanranta, H., Swan, K., Hirvonen, H., Valros, A.

    Tail biting in pigs is a multi-factorial problem, and the early rearing environment has been proposed as a potential previously unidentified factor. The aim of this study was to test whether access to chewable material from birth to weaning reduces later tail biting. Undocked litters of 59 sows...

  15. Effects of stocking rate on measures of efficacy and welfare during carbon dioxide gas euthanasia of young pigs

    Contributor(s):: Fiedler, K. J., Parsons, R. L., Sadler, L. J., Millman, S. T.

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of chamber stocking rate on facets of animal welfare and efficacy during gas euthanasia of young pigs ( Sus scrofa domesticus). Crossbred pigs (390 neonatal and 270 weaned) designated for euthanasia at production farms were randomly assigned...

  16. Aggressiveness in the domestic fowl: distance versus 'attitude'

    Contributor(s):: Rodriguez-Aurrekoetxea, A., Estevez, I.

    It has been suggested that invasion of the personal space by flock members is the main trigger of aggressive interactions in the domestic fowl ( Gallus gallus domesticus). In large and dense groups of birds high frequency of attacks should be expected as the chances of invading the personal space...

  17. Choice of perch characteristics by laying hens in cages with different group size and perching behaviours

    Contributor(s):: Chen, DongHua, Bao, Jun, Meng, FanYu, Wei, ChunBo

    Provision of perches in cages could improve behaviour and physical conditions of laying hens. This study was conducted to investigate the choice of perch characteristics (shape, width, material and height) by caged hens under different group size, and to understand the choice by the perching...

  18. Identification of major welfare issues for captive elephant husbandry by stakeholders

    Contributor(s):: Gurusamy, V., Tribe, A., Phillips, C. J. C.

    Accurate identification of key welfare issues for captive elephants could improve standards and help in the development of a welfare index. In the absence of adequate scientific information on the relative importance of key issues, the views of a range of stakeholders were sought using adaptive...

  19. Social hierarchy formation in piglets mixed in different group compositions after weaning

    Contributor(s):: Fels, M., Hartung, J., Hoy, S.

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether mixing of piglets in different group compositions after weaning can affect the social hierarchy formation. The linearity of the social hierarchy and the type of dyadic relationships between all possible pairs of individuals within a group were...

  20. The effect of social buffering on fear responses in sheep ( Ovis aries)

    Contributor(s):: Gonzalez, M., Averos, X., Beltran de Heredia, I., Ruiz, R., Arranz, J., Estevez, I.

    Fear in farm animals has been extensively studied because of its close relation to animal welfare. Numerous studies have categorized the behavioral responses of animals to stimuli that can elicit a fear reaction under social isolation conditions. However, farm animals are highly social and...