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  1. Social networks and welfare in future animal management

    Contributor(s):: Koene, P., Ipema, B.

    It may become advantageous to keep human-managed animals in the social network groups to which they have adapted. Data concerning the social networks of farm animal species and their ancestors are scarce but essential to establishing the importance of a natural social network for farmed animal...

  2. The contribution of broiler chicken welfare certification at farm level to enhancing overall animal welfare: the case of Brazil

    Contributor(s):: Souza, A. P. O., Molento, C. F. M.

    The intensification of farm animal welfare debate has led to an increasing number of certification schemes covering this issue; however, there are concerns about the contribution of these schemes in improving welfare. The aims of this study were to identify certification schemes for broiler...

  3. Behavioural consequences of visual deprivation occurring at hatch or in the early life of chickens

    Contributor(s):: Hocking, P. M., Haldane, K. A., Davidson, E. M., Sandoe, P., Kristensen, H. H.

    The development of behaviour in a line of chickens that are born sighted ( rdd) but turn blind after hatching was compared with a line that is blind at hatch ( beg) and with sighted White Leghorn controls (WL) to test the hypothesis that birds that become blind later in their life will show...

  4. 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...

  5. Effects of maternal vocalisations on the domestic chick stress response

    Contributor(s):: Edgar, J., Kelland, I., Held, S., Paul, E., Nicol, C.

    Although natural brooding is not commercially feasible, there is great potential to simulate aspects of maternal care to improve the welfare of farmed domestic chicks. Our previous studies showed that the presence of calm broody hens can buffer mild stress responses in chicks, although the...

  6. Effects of variation in nest curtain design on pre-laying behaviour of domestic hens

    Contributor(s):: Ringgenberg, N., Frohlich, E. K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Toscano, M. J., Wurbel, H., Roth, B. A.

    Laying hens in loose-housing systems select a nest daily in which to lay their eggs among many identical looking nests, they often prefer corner nests. We investigated whether heterogeneity in nest curtain appearance - via colours and symbols - would influence nest selection and result in an even...

  7. Farm animal welfare and children: a preliminary study building an attitude scale and evaluating an intervention

    Contributor(s):: Lakestani, N., Aguirre, V., Orihuela, A.

    Children are future consumers; they will impact future animal welfare standards. This pilot study evaluated a nonhuman animal welfare education program, building a farm animal attitude questionnaire for 8- to 10-year-old children. The educational material focused on the behaviors and needs of...

  8. Behavioral changes and feathering score in heat stressed broiler chickens fed diets containing different levels of propolis

    Contributor(s):: Mahmoud, U. T., Abdel-Rahman, M. A. M., Darwish, M. H. A., Applegate, T. J., Cheng, H.

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of green Brazilian propolis on behavioral patterns and feather condition of heat stressed broiler chickens. Five hundred and four (504) male Ross 708 broiler chicks at 15-day old were randomly allotted to six dietary...

  9. Effects of panels and perches on the behaviour of commercial slow-growing free-range meat chickens

    Contributor(s):: Rodriguez-Aurrekoetxea, A., Leone, E. H., Estevez, I.

    Environmental enrichment has the potential to benefit the welfare of farm animals. In poultry, panels and perches are two of the most commonly used forms of enrichment but few studies have determined their effects under commercial conditions. The aim of this work was to assess the impact of these...

  10. Feed-restricted broiler breeders: state-dependent learning as a novel welfare assessment tool to evaluate their hunger state?

    Contributor(s):: Buckley, L. A., Sandilands, V., Hocking, P. M., Tolkamp, B. J., D'Eath, R. B.

    This paper reports three experiments that aimed to validate the use of state-dependent learning (SDL) as a novel welfare assessment tool to evaluate the hunger state of feed-restricted broiler breeders. In each experiment, birds alternated every 2 days between two food rations: quantitative feed...

  11. Modification of aviary design reduces incidence of falls, collisions and keel bone damage in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Stratmann, A., Frohlich, E. K. F., Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Wurbel, H., Toscano, M. J.

    Non-cage housing systems for laying hens such as aviaries provide greater freedom to perform species-specific behavior and thus are thought to improve welfare of the birds; however, aviaries are associated with a high prevalence of keel bone damage (fractures and deviations), which is a major...

  12. Acute stress enhances sensitivity to a highly attractive food reward without affecting judgement bias in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Hernandez, C. E., Hinch, G., Lea, J., Ferguson, D., Lee, C.

    Affective states can be evaluated by assessing shifts in the animal's expectation of a positive and negative outcome in response to ambiguous cues, also known as judgement bias (JB). The aim of this study was to use a JB methodology, using a go/go type of task where animals are required to make...

  13. Development of early foraging behaviour of domestic chicks in varying social contexts

    Contributor(s):: Gajdon, G. K., Mundwiler, B., Stauffacher, M.

    Two aspects of foraging development might be crucial to learning in precocial chicks: what food particles look like and what food sites look like. Previous research indicates that there are innate dispositions for particle preferences and for preferring the type of food sites experienced between...

  14. Plumage damage in free-range laying hens: behavioural characteristics in the rearing period and the effects of environmental enrichment and beak-trimming

    Contributor(s):: Hartcher, K. M., Tran, M. K. T. N., Wilkinson, S. J., Hemsworth, P. H., Thomson, P. C., Cronin, G. M.

    Severe feather-pecking, whereby birds peck at and pull out the feathers of other birds, is one of the greatest welfare concerns and the most prevalent behavioural problem in laying hens. It can be extremely difficult to control, especially in non-cage laying flocks. Despite a multitude of studies...

  15. 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...

  16. The risk factors affecting the development of vent pecking and cannibalism in free-range and organic laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Lambton, S. L., Knowles, T. G., Yorke, C., Nicol, C. J.

    Injurious pecking remains one of the biggest animal welfare and economic challenges for free-range egg producers. This prospective epidemiological study investigated the development of vent pecking (VP) and cannibalism on 62 free-range and organic UK farms (119 flocks). Flocks were visited at 25...

  17. Effect of diet change on the behavior of chicks of an egg-laying strain

    Contributor(s):: Dixon, G., Green, L. E., Nicol, C. J.

    Injurious pecking has serious welfare consequences in flocks of hens kept for egg laying, especially when loose-housed. Frequent diet change is a significant risk for injurious pecking; how the mechanics of diet change influence pecking behavior is unknown. This study investigated the effect of...

  18. Effects of induced molting on the well-being of egg-laying hens

    Contributor(s):: McCowan, B., Schrader, J., DiLorenzo, A. M., Cardona, C., Klingborg, D.

    Induced molting in egg-laying hens is an important method for maximizing hen egg production and quality as well as hen health in commercial settings; however, there is growing societal concern over its effects on hen well-being. Using individual hens as their own controls, this research examined...

  19. Scientists' assessment of the impact of housing and management on animal welfare

    Contributor(s):: Anonymous

    A total of 22 scientists contributed to a consensus-oriented conceptual framework for assessment of farm animal welfare, addressing priority issues in cattle, pigs, and chickens. They used the Delphi method, in which participants contributed anonymously through e-mail. The framework puts welfare...

  20. Welfare, health, and hygiene of laying hens housed in furnished cages and in alternative housing systems

    Contributor(s):: Rodenburg, T. B., Tuyttens, F. A. M., Sonck, B., Reu, K. de, Herman, L., Zoons, J.

    The aim of this review was to compare welfare, health, and hygienic status of laying hens housed in furnished cages and in alternative systems. In alternative systems (floor housing and aviaries), birds have more freedom of movement and a more complex environment than in furnished cages. However,...