You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Is the avoidance distance test for the assessment of animals’ responsiveness to humans influenced by either the dominant or flightiest animal in the group? / About

Is the avoidance distance test for the assessment of animals’ responsiveness to humans influenced by either the dominant or flightiest animal in the group?

By Mickael Mazurek, Mark McGee, William Minchin, Mark A. Crowe, Bernadette Earley

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

A previously described (Windschnurer et al., 2009) avoidance distance test was used to assess animals’ fear of humans in order to quantify the human–animal relationship (HAR). This study investigated the influence of the dominant and flightiest animals within a group on the responsiveness of animals during the avoidance distance test. Eighty-eight pregnant heifers comprised of four different genotypes were used (22 animals per genotype): Limousin×Holstein-Friesian, Limousin×Simmental, Charolais×Limousin, and Charolais×Simmental. Sixty of the 88 heifers were group housed (n=5) into 12 pens with 3 pens per breed, while 28 heifers were singly housed (seven heifers per breed). A reactivity test was performed on days 10, 18, 25 and 30 post-housing on the singly housed heifers, and then on the group housed heifers, on the same days, to calculate a reactivity score. On days 33 and 37 flight and dominance tests, respectively, were performed to identify the flightiest and the dominant animal within each group. On day 41, an avoidance test, measuring both the avoidance distance towards a familiar and an unfamiliar human, was performed on all heifers. No difference (P>0.05) in reactivity scores was found between the genotypes, between pens for the group housed heifers or between singly housed and group housed heifers (P=0.28). The avoidance distance (AD) of singly (S) housed heifers towards a familiar (F) (ADSF) human was shorter (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 132
Issue 3
Pages 107-113
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.03.001
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Cattle
  2. Dominance