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  1. Preliminary study on current perceptions and usage of training equipment by horse enthusiasts in Canada

    Contributor(s):: Merkies, Katrina, Nakonechny, Lindsay, DuBois, Cordelie, Derisoud, Emilie

    Training practices may impose restrictions on the equine behavioral repertoire through the use of training equipment. Presently, the prevalence of the use of training equipment in Canada is unknown. Through an online survey for horse enthusiasts (n = 654), this study evaluated the prevalence and...

  2. Understanding and Application of Learning Theory in UK-based Equestrians

    Contributor(s):: Brown, Sarah M., Connor, Melanie

    Learning in equines occurs through a predictable chain of stimulus–response–consequence processing. Whether the behavior persists will depend on the nature and timing of the consequence, whether it punishes or reinforces the response behavior. Knowledge and application of learning theory in...

  3. Operant conditioning of urination by calves

    Contributor(s):: Vaughan, Alison, de Passillé, Anne Marie, Stookey, Joseph, Rushen, Jeffrey

    The accumulation of faeces and urine in dairy barns is a cause of cattle and human health concerns and environmental problems. It is usually assumed that cattle are not capable of controlling defecation and urination. We tested whether calves could be taught to urinate in a location using either...

  4. Learning performance of gestating sows called to the feeder

    Contributor(s):: Kirchner, Jasmin, Manteuffel, Christian, Manteuffel, Gerhard, Schrader, Lars

    A call feeding station in which sows learn to be allowed to enter a feeding station only after being called by an individual acoustic signal has been shown to reduce agonistic interactions in front of the feeding station. Here, we tested important prerequisites for integration of a call feeding...

  5. Lack of mirror use by pigs to locate food

    Contributor(s):: Gieling, Elise T., Mijdam, Elco, van der Staay, F. Josef, Nordquist, Rebecca E.

    Many mammalian species, as well as birds, are able to use a mirror either in the context of self-recognition, or instrumentally for discovering and manipulating objects that cannot be perceived directly. A noteworthy study by Broom et al. (2009) investigated the ability of pigs (Sus scrofa) to...

  6. Effects of signalled reward type, food status and a μ-opioid receptor antagonist on cue-induced anticipatory behaviour in laying hens (Gallus domesticus)

    Contributor(s):: Moe, Randi Oppermann, Nordgreen, Janicke, Janczak, Andrew M., Spruijt, Berry M., Bakken, Morten

    Studies using classical conditioning have shown that hens display high frequencies of dopamine-controlled cue-induced anticipatory behaviours in the cue-reward interval when signalling mealworm rewards. However, it is not known whether anticipatory behaviours are reward specific, and whether the...

  7. Does stocking density modify affective state in pigs as assessed by cognitive bias, behavioural and physiological parameters?

    Contributor(s):: Scollo, Annalisa, Gottardo, Flaviana, Contiero, Barbara, Edwards, Sandra A.

    Recent studies suggest that emotional state can affect cognitive abilities of humans and non-human animals, determining biases in information processing. Negative mental states, such as anxiety or depression, induce pessimistic judgments of ambiguous stimuli. These assumptions may be used to...

  8. Chronic stress induces pessimistic-like judgment and learning deficits in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Destrez, Alexandra, Deiss, Véronique, Lévy, Frédéric, Calandreau, Ludovic, Lee, Caroline, Chaillou-Sagon, Elodie, Boissy, Alain

    Chronic stress can be described as a long-term negative affective state induced by an accumulation of negative emotional experiences that alters an individual's interactions with the environment. In humans, chronic stress induces both persistent judgment biases and learning deficits. We...

  9. Using rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss as self-feeding actuators for white-spotted charr Salvelinus leucomaenis: Implications for production and welfare

    Contributor(s):: Noble, Chris, Flood, Matthew James, Tabata, Mitsuo

    Self-feeding systems, where fish actuate a trigger to obtain food, can be a useful feed management tool for aquaculture. However, some species such as the white-spotted charr Salvelinus leucomaenis can be poor self-feeders. The current experiment evaluated the production and welfare effects of...

  10. Training methods for introducing cows to a pasture-based automatic milking system

    Contributor(s):: Jago, J., Kerrisk, K.

    Training cows to use an automatic milking system (AMS) is an important process as this method of milking depends on cows voluntarily using the AMS. This study examined two levels of training before calving on the behaviour of cows and heifers in an extensive pasture-based AMS. Animals received...

  11. Learning and context-specific exploration behaviour in hatchery and wild brown trout

    Contributor(s):: Adriaenssens, Bart, Johnsson, Jörgen I.

    In this study we investigate whether rearing environment (wild vs. hatchery) affects the ability of brown trout parr (Salmo trutta) to learn two foraging tasks. Hatchery- and wild-reared brown trout were trained in two different foraging tasks: locating food hidden in a maze and finding a cryptic...

  12. From fright to anticipation: Reward conditioning versus habituation to a moving dip net in farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

    Contributor(s):: Nilsson, Jonatan, Stien, Lars H., Fosseidengen, Jan Erik, Olsen, Rolf Erik, Kristiansen, Tore S.

    Using reward conditioning to change the cognitive interpretation of stressors has been suggested as a method to reduce stress in farmed fish. We studied the modification of behavioural and physiological responses of Atlantic cod to a stressor. Eight groups of cod were exposed to a moving dip net...

  13. The effect of maternal care and infrared beak trimming on development, performance and behavior of Silver Nick hens

    Contributor(s):: Angevaare, Milou J., Prins, Sander, van der Staay, Franz Josef, Nordquist, Rebecca E.

    In the commercial poultry industry, feather pecking leads to damage to the chickens and an increased mortality rate. The effects of two (possible) feather pecking prevention methods, infrared trimming and maternal care, on production parameters, fear, sociality, learning, feeding behavior, and...

  14. Does learning performance in horses relate to fearfulness, baseline stress hormone, and social rank?

    Contributor(s):: Christensen, Janne Winther, Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup, Lintrup, Randi, Gaillard, Charlotte, Palme, Rupert, Malmkvist, Jens

    The ability of horses to learn and remember new tasks is fundamentally important for their use by humans. Fearfulness may, however, interfere with learning, because stimuli in the environment can overshadow signals from the rider or handler. In addition, prolonged high levels of stress hormones...

  15. Applying chemical stimuli on feathers to reduce feather pecking in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra, Rodenburg, T. Bas

    Recent studies have shown that spraying a distasteful substance (quinine) on a bird's feather cover reduced short-term feather pecking. The present experiment evaluated if other substances offer similar or better protection against feather pecking. One hundred and twenty birds were divided into...

  16. Evaluation of operant learning in young foals using target training

    Contributor(s):: Martinez de Andino, Elena V., McDonnell, Sue M.

    The primary purpose of this study was to characterize operant learning performance of young foals. For each of 26 foals, aged 6–20 weeks, learning performance was quantitatively evaluated in a single brief training trial using a standard operant conditioning task and paradigm analogous to those...

  17. Application of learning theory in horse rescues in England and Wales

    Contributor(s):: Preshaw, Liane, Kirton, Roxane, Randle, Hayley

    In England and Wales the welfare of animals, including horses, is protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Welfare agencies play a role in the investigation of equine welfare concerns and catching, containing, transporting and boarding (caring for) horses that have been rescued. Horses regularly...

  18. The importance of learning theory and equitation science to the veterinarian

    Contributor(s):: Doherty, Orla, McGreevy, Paul D., Pearson, Gemma

    The work of veterinarians when handling horses exposes them to high risk of injury. Among equine practitioners, the incidences of work-related injuries and work days lost due to injury are high. Equine veterinary practitioners’ knowledge of learning theory and equitation science is minimal....

  19. Female and male pigs’ performance in a spatial holeboard and judgment bias task

    Contributor(s):: Roelofs, Sanne, Nordquist, Rebecca E., van der Staay, Franz Josef

    Studies of the cognitive abilities of pigs are increasing in number, due to their relevance for the fields of animal welfare and biomedical research. While both female and male pigs have been used in cognitive tasks, possible sex differences in performance have not yet received extensive...

  20. The effect of feeding enrichment in the milk-feeding stage on the cognition of dairy calves in a T-maze

    Contributor(s):: Horvath, Kelsey, Fernandez, Mariana, Miller-Cushon, Emily K.

    In many species, environmental complexity is known to affect cognitive development, yet it is common to house dairy calves individually in restrictive environments. The hypothesis of this study was that providing calves with simple nutritional enrichments would improve their success in a...