Time filter

Source Type

Zupan M.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Zupan M.,University of Ljubljana | Framstad T.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Zanella A.J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Zanella A.J.,University of Sao Paulo
Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia | Year: 2016

In the present study, we investigated behavioural responses and determined parameters of heart rate variability (HRV) to elucidate a relative activation of autonomic nervous system (ANS) during baseline (10 min) and in response to potentially stressful situations (10 min) in two pig breeds and sexes. Gilts (n = 21) and barrows (n = 9) of the Landrace × Yorkshire (LY; n = 15) and Landrace/Yorkshire × Landrace/Duroc (LYLD; n = 15) breeds were subjected to a novel object test (NOT) and a novel arena test (NAT). Basal ANS state differed in pigs across breeds but not sexes. Landrace × Yorkshire pigs had a significantly lower basal heart rate (HR) and low-frequency band (LF) with a higher root mean square of successive interbeat intervals (RMSSD) and high-frequency band (HF) than LYLD pigs. In the NOT, despite having similar cardiac responses, gilts had a longer duration of contact with a novel object, higher lying and standing duration, and a lower duration of walking compared with barrows. In the NAT, we found similar behaviour across sexes but a different degree of ANS state, with barrows having a significantly higher increase in LF/HF (power of the low frequency component divided by the power of the high-frequency band) compared with gilts. Landrace/Yorkshire × Landrace/Duroc pigs showed longer duration of contact with a novel object in the NOT accompanied by less lying and standing than LY pigs in both tests. No difference in ANS activation between breeds was found in the NOT. In the NAT, HR increased more from baseline to testing in LY pigs than in LYLD pigs. There is a complex and often contradictory nature of relationships between behaviour and cardiac responses to novelty in pigs of different breeds and sexes. © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia.


Tahamtani F.M.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Janczak A.M.,Animal Welfare Research Group
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The pros and cons of using anaesthesia when handling fish in connection with experiments are debated. A widely adopted practice is to wait thirty minutes after anaesthesia before behavioural observations are initiated, but information about immediate effects of a treatment is then lost. This is pertinent for responses to acute stressors, such as acid injection in the acetic acid pain test. However, omission of anaesthetics in order to obtain data on immediate responses will compromise the welfare of fish and contribute to experimental noise due to stress. We therefore tested the effect of tricaine methanesulfonate on the behaviour of zebrafish. We predicted that tricaine (MS 222) would decrease swimming velocity and that the control fish would show an increased level of anxiety- and stress-related behaviours compared to the tricaine group. Following acclimatization to the test tank, baseline behaviour was recorded before immersion in either tricaine (168 mg l-1, treatment group, N = 8) or tank water (control group, N = 7). Latencies to lose equilibrium and to lose response to touch were registered. The fish was then returned to the test tank, and the latency to regain equilibrium was registered in anaesthetized fish. When equilibrium was regained, and at five, thirty and sixty minutes after the fish had been returned to the test tank, behaviour was recorded. The tricaine fish showed the following responses (mean ± sd): latency to lose equilibrium 22.6 s±3.9; latency to lose response to touch 101.9 s±26.8; latency to regain equilibrium 92.0 s±54.4. Contrary to our predictions, neither treatment caused a change in any of the behaviours registered. This indicates that tricaine has no effect on several commonly used behavioural parameters, and that it may be unnecessary to postpone behavioural observations to 30 min after anaesthesia. © 2014 Nordgreen et al.


Moe R.O.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Nordgreen J.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Janczak A.M.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Bakken M.,NMBU | And 2 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2014

Behaviors associated with anticipation and search for palatable food may provide information about dopaminergic reward processes and positive motivational affect in animals. The overall aim was to investigate the involvement of dopamine signaling in the regulation of cue-induced anticipation and search for palatable food reward in chicken, and whether domestication has affected expression of reward-related behaviors. The specific aims were to describe effects of mealworms (palatable food for hens) and haloperidol (a dopamine D2 antagonist) on foraging behaviors and cue-induced anticipatory behaviors in Red Junglefowl (RJF; the wild ancestor of modern laying hens) and a white layer hybrid (LSL). RJF (n = 26) and LSL (n = 20) were initially trained on a conditioning schedule to anticipate mealworms (unconditioned stimulus; US) 25. s after exposure to a red light (conditioned stimulus; CS). For the experiment, hens received haloperidol or saline injections 30. min before exposure to one CS. +. US combination. Behavior was registered 10. min before CS and 10. min after US (foraging behaviors), and during the CS-US interval (anticipatory behaviors). Higher frequencies of CS-induced anticipatory head movements, faster approach to rewards, and higher frequency of foraging behaviors were found in LSL compared to RJF. Haloperidol suppressed CS-induced head movements in both breeds, and the frequency of foraging behaviors after reward delivery. The results support a role of dopamine signaling in the regulation of reward processes in chickens, and suggest that domestication has changed the threshold for perceiving food incentives and/or for expressing reward-related behaviors that may be indicative of positive motivational affect in hens. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Tahamtani F.M.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Hansen T.B.,Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Center | Orritt R.,Animal Welfare Research Group | Orritt R.,University of Lincoln | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

This study tests the hypothesis that hens that are reared in aviaries but produce in furnished cages experience poorer welfare in production than hens reared in caged systems. This hypothesis is based on the suggestion that the spatial restriction associated with the transfer from aviaries to cages results in frustration or stress for the aviary reared birds. To assess the difference in welfare between aviary and cage reared hens in production, non-beak trimmed white leghorn birds from both rearing backgrounds were filmed at a commercial farm that used furnished cage housing. The videos were taken at 19 and 21 weeks of age, following the birds' transition to the production environment at 16 weeks. Videos were analysed in terms of the performance of aversion-related behaviour in undisturbed birds, comfort behaviour in undisturbed birds, and alert behaviour directed to a novel object in the home cage. A decrease in the performance of the former behaviour and increase in the performance of the latter two behaviours indicates improved welfare. The results showed that aviary reared birds performed more alert behaviour near to the object than did cage reared birds at 19 but not at 21 weeks of age (P < 0.03). Blood glucose concentrations did not differ between the treatments (P.0.10). There was a significant difference in mortality between treatments (P = 0.000), with more death in aviary reared birds (5.52%) compared to cage birds (2.48%). The higher mortality of aviary-reared birds indicates a negative effect of aviary rearing on bird welfare, whereas the higher duration of alert behavior suggests a positive effect of aviary rearing. © 2014 Tahamtani et al.


PubMed | University of Bristol, University of Lincoln, Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Center and Animal Welfare Research Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

This study tests the hypothesis that hens that are reared in aviaries but produce in furnished cages experience poorer welfare in production than hens reared in caged systems. This hypothesis is based on the suggestion that the spatial restriction associated with the transfer from aviaries to cages results in frustration or stress for the aviary reared birds. To assess the difference in welfare between aviary and cage reared hens in production, non-beak trimmed white leghorn birds from both rearing backgrounds were filmed at a commercial farm that used furnished cage housing. The videos were taken at 19 and 21 weeks of age, following the birds transition to the production environment at 16 weeks. Videos were analysed in terms of the performance of aversion-related behaviour in undisturbed birds, comfort behaviour in undisturbed birds, and alert behaviour directed to a novel object in the home cage. A decrease in the performance of the former behaviour and increase in the performance of the latter two behaviours indicates improved welfare. The results showed that aviary reared birds performed more alert behaviour near to the object than did cage reared birds at 19 but not at 21 weeks of age (P=0.03). Blood glucose concentrations did not differ between the treatments (P>0.10). There was a significant difference in mortality between treatments (P=0.000), with more death in aviary reared birds (5.52%) compared to cage birds (2.48%). The higher mortality of aviary-reared birds indicates a negative effect of aviary rearing on bird welfare, whereas the higher duration of alert behavior suggests a positive effect of aviary rearing.

Loading Animal Welfare Research Group collaborators
Loading Animal Welfare Research Group collaborators