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Friedrich-Wilhelm-Lübke-Koog, Germany

Bennewitz J.,Institute of Animal Husbandry and Breeding | Bogelein S.,Institute of Animal Husbandry and Breeding | Stratz P.,Institute of Animal Husbandry and Breeding | Rodehutscord M.,German Institute of Animal Nutrition | And 3 more authors.
Poultry Science | Year: 2014

Feather pecking and aggressive pecking is a well-known problem in egg production. In the present study, genetic parameters for 4 feather-pecking- related traits were estimated using generalized linear mixed models. The traits were bouts of feather pecking delivered (FPD), bouts of feather pecking received (FPR), bouts of aggressive pecking delivered (APD), and bouts of aggressive pecking received (APR). An F2-design was established from 2 divergent selected founder lines. The lines were selected for low or high feather pecking for 10 generations. The number of F2 hens was 910. They were housed in pens with around 40 birds. Each pen was observed in 21 sessions of 20 min, distributed over 3 consecutive days. An animal model was applied that treated the bouts observed within 20 min as repeated observations. An over-dispersed Poisson distribution was assumed for observed counts and the link function was a log link. The model included a random animal effect, a random permanent environment effect, and a random day-by-hen effect. Residual variance was approximated on the link scale by the delta method. The results showed a heritability around 0.10 on the link scale for FPD and APD and of 0.04 for APR. The heritability of FPR was zero. For all behavior traits, substantial permanent environmental effects were observed. The approximate genetic correlation between FPD and APD (FPD and APR) was 0.81 (0.54). Egg production and feather eating records were collected on the same hens as well and were analyzed with a generalized linear mixed model, assuming a binomial distribution and using a probit link function. The heritability on the link scale for egg production was 0.40 and for feather eating 0.57. The approximate genetic correlation between FPD and egg production was 0.50 and between FPD and feather eating 0.73. Selection might help to reduce feather pecking, but this might result in an unfavorable correlated selection response reducing egg production. Feather eating and feather pecking are genetically correlated and this needs further investigation. © 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.


Baumann S.,Education and Knowledge Center | Pflanz W.,Education and Knowledge Center | Gallmann E.,University of Hohenheim | Schrader L.,Institute for Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry
Landtechnik | Year: 2013

This study analyses the preferences, as well as the lying behaviour, of sows with various types of mat in a group housing system lying area. The sows in the trial could choose between six bays with three lying surfaces (concrete, hard or soft rubber matting). The behaviour of the animals was video recorded continually over seven days. The results show that sows preferred malleable floor coverings for lying on. The soft rubber mats were preferred with 53.6 % occupancy over hard rubber mats with 38.1 %. The bare concrete flooring was, with 8.3 % occupancy, relatively seldom used.


Baumann S.,Education and Knowledge Center | Pflanz W.,Boxberg Education and Knowledge Center | Gallmann E.,University of Hohenheim | Schrader L.,Institute for Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry
Landtechnik | Year: 2012

During the production cycle sows experience different housing systems and floorings: in the service centre, in the dry sow accommodation and in the farrowing house. To investigate the effects on their feet of the different systems, sows were regularly inspected and scored over a period at the State Institute for Pig Breeding and Management (LSZ), Boxberg Education and Knowledge Centre. The results from over 1 300 individual inspections show that, under loose housing management in groups, the sole and ball areas of sow feet are subject to increased wear and damage. Horn wall injuries are identified mainly with sows on slatted flooring in the lying area. On the other hand, where sows are confined individually in farrowing pens their feet can show a lack of even wear.


On the basis of observations that flocks of chickens with high incidence of feather pecking and feather damages show a high fear level, it is generally assumed that feather pecking and fear are positively correlated. This hypothesis was tested in two experiments using adult laying hens of lines selected for high (HFP) and low feather pecking behaviour (LFP) and their reciprocal crosses. A total of 60 adult birds, 30 HFP and 30 LFP, of the selection lines were used in part one of the experiment. The birds were first observed for the number of bouts of severe feather pecks delivered (FPD) and received (FPR) when kept in groups of equal numbers of both lines. Thereafter all birds were subjected to several fear tests: Tonic immobility test (TI), open- field test (OF), emerge box test (ET) and pencil test. In part two of the experiment a total of 967 birds of the F2- crosses of both lines were used. All birds were tested using the same fear tests as above at 7 days and 40 weeks of age. FPD and FPR were observed in adults only. The whole population was split for FPD in HFP and LFP using the threshold of ≥ 2 (HFP) and < 2 (LFP). HFP and LFP of the selection lines and the F2- crosses clearly differed in FPD. LFP of the selection lines received more feather pecks than HFP. There was no significant difference for FPR in HFP and LFP in the F2- crosses. In contrast to our expectation HFP from the selection lines showed a significant shorter duration of TI, shorter latency to move and to vocalize in the OF and a shorter latency to leave the emerge box, indicating lower fear. Similar results were found in the HFP and LFP of the F2- crosses for the duration of TI and latency of head appearance in the ET. Latency of the first step and to vocalize in the OF, however showed the opposite tendency. Line by age interactions appeared for the number of inductions in the TI and the latency of head emerge in the ET. There were no differences between HFP and LFP in the pencil test in both experiments. The phenotypic correlations between FPD and FPR with all fear criteria were low and not significant in both experiments. There is obviously no consistent relationship between feather pecking and fear in this population. Depending on type of fear test and age the HFP may show higher, lower or no difference in fear. Genotypes by age interactions further contribute to the variability of the results. The low phenotypic correlations among the criteria confirm this conclusion. © Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.


Brenninkmeyer C.,University of Kassel | Dippel S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Dippel S.,Institute for Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry | Brinkmann J.,Thuenen Institute of Organic Farming | And 3 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2016

In this study, a data set of 2922 lactating dairy cows in a sample of 64 conventional and organic dairy farms with Holstein Friesian cows in Germany and 31 conventional dairy farms with the dual purpose breed Fleckvieh in Austria was used to screen for correlations between the occurrences of different integument alterations. All cows were housed in cubicle systems. Alterations were classified as hairless areas (H), scabs or wounds (W) or swellings (S) and assessed at 15 locations of the cows' body. Highest median farm prevalences were found at the joints of the legs, which are already commonly included in studies on integumentary alterations: median farm prevalence was 83% for S and 48% for H at the carpal joints, followed by H (38%) and S (20%) at the lateral tarsal joints and H at the lateral calcanei (20%). Additional body parts with notable median prevalences for H were the hip bones (13%), pin bones (12%) and sacrum (11%). Three cluster models, with 2, 5 and 14 clusters, were built by hierarchical clustering of prevalences of the 30 most relevant alteration location combinations. Clustering revealed that location overruled type of lesion in most cases. Occasionally, clusters represented body segments significantly distant from each other, for example the carpal joints and lateral and dorsal calcanei. However, some neighbouring areas such as the medial and lateral hock area should be analysed separately from each other for causal analysis as they formed distinct clusters. © The Animal Consortium 2015.

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