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  1. Nursing females are more prone to heat stress: Demography matters when managing flying-foxes for climate change

    Contributor(s): Snoyman, Stephanie, Muhic, Jasmina, Brown, Culum

    Determining the underlying mechanisms responsible for species-specific responses to climate change is important from a species management perspective. The grey-headed flying-fox, Pteropus poliocephalus, is listed as vulnerable but it also a significant pest species for orchardists and thereby...

  2. A novel scale of behavioural indicators of stress for use with domestic horses

    Contributor(s): Young, Tamsin, Creighton, Emma, Smith, Tessa, Hosie, Charlotte

    Behaviour scores (BS) offer non-invasive, objective and easy to use ways of assessing welfare in animals. Their development has, however, largely focused on behavioural reactions to stressful events (often induced), and little use of physiological measures has been made to underpin and validate...

  3. Nest sharing under semi-natural conditions in laying hens

    Contributor(s): Riber, Anja Brinch

    Under natural conditions, the feral hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) will choose a nest location away from the flock, whereas under commercial conditions, the domestic hen will often choose the same nest as other hens have used or are still using. Simultaneous nest sharing causes several welfare...

  4. Neighbourhood analysis as an indicator of spatial requirements of broiler chickens

    Contributor(s): Buijs, Stephanie, Keeling, Linda J., Vangestel, Carl, Baert, Jeroen, Tuyttens, Frank A. M.

    The appropriate stocking density for broiler chickens is a much discussed topic in animal welfare. To determine at which stocking density the level of crowding becomes aversive to 4–6-week-old broiler chickens, spatial distribution and behaviour of groups stocked at 8, 19, 29, 40, 45, 51, 61 or...

  5. Movement in a confined space: Estimating path tortuosity

    Contributor(s): Miller, Curtis, Christman, Mary C., Estevez, Inma

    Tortuosity of an animal's path may be defined in the most general sense as departure of the path from straightness and is closely related to the animal‘s behavior. For example, movement toward a destination is straighter and hence less tortuous than foraging behavior where the animal is searching...

  6. Motivation for social contact in horses measured by operant conditioning

    Contributor(s): Søndergaard, Eva, Jensen, Margit Bak, Nicol, Christine J.

    Although horses are social animals they are often housed individually with limited social contact to other horses and this may compromise their welfare. The present study included eight young female horses and investigated the strength of motivation for access to full social contact, head contact...

  7. Mild environmental aversion is detected by a discrete-choice preference testing method but not by a free-access method

    Contributor(s): Browne, William J., Caplen, Gina, Statham, Poppy, Nicol, Christine J.

    Preference tests are a widely used method in animal welfare science but the influence of specific methodologies has not been widely investigated, and methods are often selected arbitrarily. In these experiments we assessed the environmental preferences of 72 individual laying hens, where...

  8. Mental health of dogs formerly used as ‘breeding stock’ in commercial breeding establishments

    Contributor(s): McMillan, Franklin D., Duffy, Deborah L., Serpell, James A.

    Canine commercial breeding establishments (CBEs) are kennel facilities where puppies are produced in large numbers for commercial sale. In the popular media, CBEs are commonly referred to as “puppy mills” or “puppy farms.” Conditions in CBEs vary widely in quality. Dogs in these facilities are...

  9. Measuring motivation in a cichlid fish: An adaptation of the push-door paradigm

    Contributor(s): Galhardo, Leonor, Almeida, Olinda, Oliveira, Rui F.

    Recent behavioural, cognitive and neurophysiological studies strongly suggest that fish are capable of psychological experiences. Therefore, identifying needs from the animals’ point of view is likely to be one of the best approaches to understand their welfare. Motivational tests, as a measure...

  10. Measuring empathic responses in animals

    Contributor(s): Edgar, J. L., Nicol, C. J., Clark, C. C. A., Paul, E. S.

    Domestic animals may be frequently exposed to situations in which they witness the distress or pain of conspecifics and the extent to which they are affected by this will depend on their capacity for empathy. Empathy encompasses two partially distinct sets of processes concerned with the...

  11. Measures of behavioural reactivity and their relationships with production traits in sheep: A review

    Contributor(s): Dodd, Cathy L., Pitchford, Wayne S., Hocking Edwards, Janelle E., Hazel, Susan J.

    This paper defines the concept of temperament and discusses the use of behavioural reactivity testing in sheep. The range of behavioural tests used in sheep are categorised and the aspects of behaviour reflected by each type of test discussed. The activation of nervous and endocrine pathways is...

  12. Measurement of feeding motivation in sheep and the effects of food restriction

    Contributor(s): Verbeek, Else, Waas, Joseph R., McLeay, Lance, Matthews, Lindsay R.

    The availability of food is a crucial factor determining the health and growth of animals. Prolonged or severe food restriction will trigger the subjective state of hunger, which could potentially reduce welfare. We refined a methodology for the measurement of feeding motivation as an indicator...

  13. Lying patterns of high producing healthy dairy cows after calving in commercial herds as affected by age, environmental conditions and production

    Contributor(s): Steensels, Machteld, Bahr, Claudia, Berckmans, Daniel, Halachmi, Ilan, Antler, Aharon, Maltz, Ephraim

    An animal expresses its physiological and well-being status by its behaviour. Changes in behaviour can be associated with health, production or well-being problems and therefore with the profitability of the farm. The objectives of the present study were to analyse lying patterns of healthy cows,...

  14. Lying laterality and the effect of IceTag data loggers on lying behaviour of dairy cows

    Contributor(s): Gibbons, Jenny, Medrano-Galarza, Catalina, Marie de Passillé, Anne, Rushen, Jeffrey

    Lying behaviour is a useful indicator of cow comfort, but can be time consuming to measure. Data loggers are commonly used to automatically record behavioural activity but may influence the animal's behaviour. We investigated the effect of a new model of the IceTag data logger (IceTag Sensor,...

  15. The lying and standing activity indices of dairy cows in free-stall housing

    Contributor(s): Mattachini, Gabriele, Riva, Elisabetta, Provolo, Giorgio

    Behavioural activity is used as an indication of animal comfort, and lying and standing behaviours are often used as a sign of well-being in cattle and to evaluate the quality of stalls. The aim of this study was to compare the values of different behavioural indices at different scan-sampling...

  16. A longitudinal study of the effects of providing straw at different stages of life on tail-biting and other behaviour in commercially housed pigs

    Contributor(s): Statham, Poppy, Green, Laura, Mendl, Michael

    Tail-biting (TB) is a welfare concern. Recent studies indicate that early provision of straw may help prevent TB, however, many of these studies were carried out on small groups of pigs and may have limited applicability to commercial farms. The effect of providing straw at different stages of...

  17. Long-term stability of Avoidance Distance tests for on-farm assessment of dairy cow relationship to humans in alpine traditional husbandry systems

    Contributor(s): Battini, Monica, Andreoli, Elena, Barbieri, Sara, Mattiello, Silvana

    The present study investigates the long-term stability of two behaviour tests used to evaluate the human–animal relationship as well as gather information to refine on-farm welfare assessment protocols in alpine husbandry systems. Two tests, Avoidance Distance (AD) and Avoidance Distance at the...

  18. The long and short of it: A review of tail docking in farm animals

    Contributor(s): Sutherland, Mhairi A., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Tail docking involves amputating a portion of the tail for a variety of reasons. We review the scientific evidence for the rationale for tail docking, a description of the different methods used, the pain response to the procedure and the effectiveness of pain alleviation, and, finally, the...

  19. Linking the social environment to illness in farm animals

    Contributor(s): Proudfoot, Kathryn L., Weary, Daniel M., von Keyserlingk, Marina A. G.

    Disease is one of the single largest issues facing food animal agriculture today. Risk factors for various diseases in cattle, swine and chickens include aspects of both the physical and social environment. In this paper we review literature linking the social environment to illness in farm...

  20. The level of social contact affects social behaviour in pre-weaned dairy calves

    Contributor(s): Duve, Linda Rosager, Jensen, Margit Bak

    The present study investigated the effects of the level of social contact in the home environment on the social preference, bonding and social behaviour of pre-weaned dairy calves. Twenty-seven pairs of calves were reared from birth until 6 weeks either individually (with limited social contact...