The HABRI Central Team continues to monitor emerging research and information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our collection of resources, https://habricentral.org/features/covid-19
Investigating risk factors that predict a dog's fear during veterinary consultations
Contributor(s):: Edwards, P. T., Hazel, S. J., Browne, M., Serpell, J. A., McArthur, M. L., Smith, B. P.
Personality is associated with feeding behavior and performance in dairy calves
Contributor(s):: Neave, H. W., Costa, J. H. C., Weary, D. M., von Keyserlingk, M. A. G.
Associations between qualitative behaviour assessments and measures of leg health, fear and mortality in Norwegian broiler chicken flocks
Contributor(s):: Muri, Karianne, Stubsjøen, Solveig Marie, Vasdal, Guro, Moe, Randi Oppermann, Granquist, Erik Georg
Qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA) is an animal-based welfare measure that has been included in several on-farm welfare assessment protocols, including the Welfare Quality® (WQ) protocol for poultry. However, there is a scarcity of information about how it relates to other animal-based...
Risk factors associated with stranger-directed aggression in domestic dogs
Contributor(s):: Flint, Hannah E., Coe, Jason B., Serpell, James A., Pearl, David L., Niel, Lee
Aggression in dogs is a safety concern both for humans and animals, and can lead to decreased animal welfare in affected dogs due to potential abuse, neglect, relinquishment or euthanasia. We examined risk factors associated with stranger-directed aggression in dogs using the previously...
Behavioural changes induced by handling at different timeframes in Lusitano yearling horses
Contributor(s):: Pereira-Figueiredo, Inês, Costa, Helena, Carro, Juan, Stilwell, George, Rosa, Ilda
Recent interest has focused on the advantage of intensely handling young horses, as a good tool for improving emotional reactivity and thence trainability. Its effectiveness remains controversial, suggesting it might depend on the right timeframe to do so. The present study aimed to evaluate the...
Behavioural testing based breeding policy reduces the prevalence of fear and aggression related behaviour in Rottweilers
Contributor(s):: van der Borg, Joanne A. M., Graat, Elisabeth A. M., Beerda, Bonne
Behavioural testing allows to exclude dogs that are fearful and aggressive from the breeding population, but relatively little is known about the effectiveness of such strategies in practice. From 2001 till 2009 parent purebred Dutch Rottweilers had to pass the Socially Acceptable Behaviour...
Genetics of the Novel Object Test outcome in laying hens
Contributor(s):: Rozempolska-Rucinska, Iwona, Kibala, Lucyna, Prochniak, Tomasz, Zieba, Grzegorz, Lukaszewicz, Marek
The purpose of the study was to answer the question whether the behavioural reactions to a novel object can serve as a criterion in selection toward lowering the fearfulness level in laying hens. Fear can be a harmful emotional state resulting from perceiving of an experience as a potential...
Effects of human contact and intra-specific social learning on tonic immobility in guinea pigs, Cavia porcellus
Contributor(s):: Rocha, Alan Douglas de Lima, Menescal-de-Oliveira, Leda, da Silva, Luis Felipe S.
Social learning is the capacity of animals to acquire adaptive information from others. In the case of fear responses, animals can learn fearful or non-fearful responses by observing the behavior of conspecifics. Tonic immobility (TI) is an anti-predatory behavior elicited during intense fear...
Access to litter during rearing and environmental enrichment during production reduce fearfulness in adult laying hens
Contributor(s):: Brantsæter, Margrethe, Tahamtani, Fernanda M., Nordgreen, Janicke, Sandberg, Ellen, Hansen, Tone Beate, Rodenburg, T. Bas, Moe, Randi Oppermann, Janczak, Andrew Michael
Exaggerated fear-reactions are associated with injurious flying, smothering, feather pecking and other events that compromise animal welfare in laying hens. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that chicks with access to litter during the first five weeks of life would be less fearful...
Assessment of fear-related behaviours displayed by companion dogs (Canis familiaris) in response to social and non-social stimuli
Contributor(s):: Stellato, Anastasia C., Flint, Hannah E., Widowski, Tina M., Serpell, James A., Niel, Lee
Dogs that experience fear in response to everyday stimuli are likely to have reduced welfare, and are at a higher risk for the development of behaviour problems. To properly investigate the causes and consequences of canine fear it is important to correctly identify affected individuals. The aim...
Effect of free-range access, shelter type and weather conditions on free-range use and welfare of slow-growing broiler chickens
Contributor(s):: Stadig, Lisanne M., Rodenburg, T. Bas, Ampe, Bart, Reubens, Bert, Tuyttens, Frank A. M.
Free-range access for broiler chickens can benefit animal welfare because the birds have access to a more natural environment and more opportunities to perform natural behaviours than in indoor systems. Also, they have more space and more environmental enrichment, which could lead to better leg...
Exposing avian embryos to light affects post-hatch anti-predator fear responses
Contributor(s):: Archer, Gregory S., Mench, Joy A.
Environmental stimuli present during incubation can impact the behavior of birds post-hatch. To determine the effect of exposing broiler chicken embryos to light on fear-related behavior post-hatch, we conducted two experiments in which we incubated eggs under various light schedules, and then...
Inconsistency in dairy calves’ responses to tests of fearfulness
Contributor(s):: Meagher, Rebecca K., von Keyserlingk, Marina A. G., Atkinson, Dax, Weary, Daniel M.
Fear is an important welfare problem for farm animals, including cattle. A variety of methods of assessing fear have been proposed, but the reliability and validity of these methods, and ways of improving these characteristics, have received little study. We conducted a series of experiments to...
Fear and coping styles of outdoor-preferring, moderate-outdoor and indoor-preferring free-range laying hens
Contributor(s):: Campbell, Dana L. M., Hinch, Geoff N., Downing, Jeff A., Lee, Caroline
Free-range systems are increasing in popularity as outdoor access is perceived to improve hen welfare, but radio-frequency identification tracking of individuals shows not all hens access the range daily with some hens never going outside. The individual variation in range use may be correlated...
Loading horses (Equus caballus) onto trailers—Behaviour of horses and horse owners during loading and habituating
Contributor(s):: Yngvesson, Jenny, de Boussard, Emelie, Larsson, Matilda, Lundberg, Anna
Horses are transported for many reasons, and loading habituation is potentially affecting animal welfare and human safety. Horses are neophobic but may be habituated and trained to perform complex behavioural tasks in novel environments. Before transporting, horses should preferably be habituated...
How does ultraviolet light affect layer production, fear, and stress
Contributor(s):: Sobotik, Eric B., Nelson, Jill R., Archer, Gregory S.
The lighting spectrum used in modern poultry production commonly lacks significant amounts of ultraviolet light; however, poultry can perceive the ultraviolet spectrum unlike humans and little research has been done to investigate the importance of this part of the spectrum on bird welfare. To...
Barren housing and negative handling decrease the exploratory approach in farmed mink
Contributor(s):: Bak, Anne Sandgrav, Malmkvist, Jens
We examined the influence of cage enrichment and different types of short-term experiences on the temperament of farmed mink. We used juvenile Palomino mink (n = 600, housed in pairs of one male and one female) in a two-factor design with cage environment (BAR: barren vs. ENR: cage enriched with...
Investigating the effect of pen shape and pen size on group flight distance of extensively managed ewes
Contributor(s):: Cramer, Samantha R., Munoz, Carolina A., McGill, David M., Rice, Maxine, Doyle, Rebecca E.
This study investigated the effect of pen shape and pen size on the group flight distance of extensively managed ewes, and how flight distances of individual ewes compared when recorded in group and isolated settings. Within eight groups of 25 sheep, six focal animals were randomly selected...
Feather pecking genotype and phenotype affect behavioural responses of laying hens
Contributor(s):: van der Eijk, Jerine A. J., Lammers, Aart, Li, Peiyun, Kjaer, Joergen B., Rodenburg, T. Bas
Feather pecking (FP) is a major welfare and economic issue in the egg production industry. Behavioural characteristics, such as fearfulness, have been related to FP. However, it is unknown how divergent selection on FP affects fearfulness in comparison to no selection on FP. Therefore, we...
Effects of environmental complexity on fearfulness and learning ability in fast growing broiler chickens
Contributor(s):: Tahamtani, Fernanda M., Pedersen, Ida J., Toinon, Claire, Riber, Anja B.
Increasing environmental complexity, i.e. by providing environmental enrichment, has been suggested as a way to improve broiler chicken welfare. One issue affecting broiler welfare is the level of fearfulness of the flock. Exaggerated fear responses may cause smothering and mortality....