The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit https://habri.org/grants/funding-opportunities/ close

 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / The effects of pen size on the behaviour of farmed red deer stags confined in yards / About

The effects of pen size on the behaviour of farmed red deer stags confined in yards

By J. C. Pollard, R. P. Littlejohn

View Link (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

40 red deer stags (2 years old) were confined for 40 min in large (5 m x 4 m) or small (2.5 m x 4 m) pens on 2 days in spring and summer. Wall pacing and vertical/horizontal head movements at the walls were more frequent in small pens than in large pens and were carried out by a greater percentage of the deer. The distances between individuals were smaller in small pens than in large pens. Aggressive activities varied seasonally, with head-butting and chasing occurring most frequently in the spring and biting and kicking being seen most frequently in the summer. The overall frequency of aggressive activities was lower in summer than in spring. In spring, in small pens there were fewer threats to head-butt, fewer head butts by moving animals, and less stepping activity than in large pens. In summer, in small pens there were more threats to butt and more stepping activity than in large pens. In spring and summer, aggressive activities were correlated with wall pacing (r = 0.58 and 0.55, respectively). It was concluded that the effect of pen size on the frequency and nature of aggressive and other activities varied seasonally. To minimize aggression and stepping activity, small pens were favoured in spring and large pens were favoured in summer. However, in both seasons there were greater inter-individual distances and less pacing and head movements at the walls in large pens, this may indicate that the large pens were less aversive to the deer, regardless of season.

Date 1996
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 47
Issue 3/4
Pages 247-253
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Invermay Agricultural Centre, Private Bag 50034, Mosgiel, New Zealand.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal housing
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Deer
  7. Farms
  8. Housing
  9. Mammals
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. pens
  12. size
  13. stocking density
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed