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  1. Playful handling as social enrichment for individually- and group-housed laboratory rats

    Contributor(s):: Cloutier, Sylvie, Baker, Chelsea, Wahl, Kim, Panksepp, Jaak, Newberry, Ruth C.

    Social housing is recommended for laboratory rats because they are highly social mammals but research constraints or medical issues often demand individual housing and, when social housing is practiced, it typically involves housing with only one or two conspecifics. We hypothesized that playful...

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

    Contributor(s):: Chen, Dong-hua, Bao, Jun, Meng, Fan-yu, Wei, Chun-bo

    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...

  3. Separation distress in artificially-reared lambs depends on human presence and the number of conspecifics

    Contributor(s):: Rault, Jean-Loup, Boissy, Alain, Boivin, Xavier

    The way animals perceive partners, including humans, is yet relatively unknown. Research has shown that humans can provide social support or act as social substitute for domestic animals. Nonetheless, studies investigating the perception of humans by domestic animals in their social environment,...

  4. The relevance of group size on goats’ social dynamics in a production environment

    Contributor(s):: Andersen, Inger Lise, Tønnesen, Hege, Estevez, Inma, Cronin, Greg M., Bøe, Knut Egil

    The aim of the present experiment was to examine the effects of short-term experience with three different group sizes in an increasing and decreasing fashion on the frequency social interactions in goats. Two batches of 24 healthy, dehorned, 2–5 years old, lactating dairy goats (Capra hircus)...

  5. Investigation of distances covered by fattening pigs measured with VideoMotionTracker®

    Contributor(s):: Brendle, Julia, Hoy, Steffen

    The investigation was carried out with altogether 144 pigs kept in groups of 6 or 12. Every pen was equipped with perforated floor. Water and the in-house compound feed with different elements depending on the fattening period were available ad libitum during the whole fattening period. At the...

  6. Assessing synchrony in groups: Are you measuring what you think you are measuring?

    Contributor(s):: Asher, Lucy, Collins, Lisa M.

    Behavioural synchrony has been a popular topic of research in group living animals, but has so far lacked a standard approach. Previous studies have varied greatly in the number of behavioural states they have considered and the size of groups investigated. Here, a model of behavioural synchrony...

  7. Flock size during rearing affects pullet behavioural synchrony and spatial clustering

    Contributor(s):: Keeling, Linda J., Newberry, Ruth C., Estevez, Inma

    Animals are often synchronised in their behaviour, with costs and benefits varying according to group size and the behaviour being performed. Making decisions about optimal allocation and distribution of resources to animals in our care therefore poses theoretical and practical challenges. We...

  8. Group size and phenotypic appearance: Their role on the social dynamics in pullets

    Contributor(s):: Campderrich, Irene, Liste, Guiomar, Estevez, Inma

    Non-caged production systems offer greater freedom of movement and behavioural opportunities to pullets, which may also include the occurrence of undesired behaviours. The incidence of such behaviours may be affected by group size but also by the group memberś phenotype. This study was designed...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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....

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...