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Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI

Joergen B Kjaer, Loc Phi-van
The serotonergic system has been shown to be implicated in the regulation of mood and feeding behavior. Previous studies have identified a polymorphism in the 5'-flanking region of the serotonin transporter ( 5 - HTT ) gene of Lohmann Brown (LB) laying hens. The deleted variant D was found to be associated with increased body weight. The objective of this study was to address whether the increased body weight may be due to an increased feed intake. After hatching, hens were kept under ad libitum feeding conditions, and their body weight and feed intake were weekly determined...
October 14, 2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Neila Ben Sassi, Xavier Averós, Inma Estevez
Consideration of animal welfare is essential to address the consumers' demands and for the long term sustainability of commercial poultry. However, assessing welfare in large poultry flocks, to be able to detect potential welfare risks and to control or minimize its impact is difficult. Current developments in technology and mathematical modelling open new possibilities for real-time automatic monitoring of animal welfare and health. New technological innovations potentially adaptable to commercial poultry are appearing, although their practical implementation is still being defined...
October 11, 2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Marnie L Brennan, Nick Wright, Wendela Wapenaar, Susanne Jarratt, Pru Hobson-West, Imogen F Richens, Jasmeet Kaler, Heather Buchanan, Jonathan N Huxley, Heather M O'Connor
Disease prevention and control practices are frequently highlighted as important to ensure the health and welfare of farmed animals, although little is known as to why not many practices are carried out. The aim of this study was to identify the motivators and barriers of dairy cattle farmers towards the use of biosecurity measures on dairy farms using a health psychology approach. Twenty-five farmers on 24 farms in Great Britain (GB) were interviewed using the Theory of Planned Behaviour framework. Results indicated that farmers perceived they had the ability to control what happened on their farms in terms of preventing and controlling disease, and described benefits from being proactive and vigilant...
October 11, 2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Patricia A Fleming, Shannon J Dundas, Yvonne Y W Lau, John R Pluske
Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or) capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia...
October 8, 2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
David J Mellor
Although the Five Freedoms paradigm has been very influential in shaping animal welfare thinking for the last two decades, it has two key disadvantages. First, the focus on "freedom" from a range of negative experiences and states has been misunderstood in a number of quarters to mean that complete freedom from these experiences and states is possible, when in fact the best that can be achieved is for them to be minimised. Second, the major focus of the Freedoms on negative experiences and states is now seen to be a disadvantage in view of current understanding that animal welfare management should also include the promotion of positive experiences and states...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Katherine E Littlewood, David J Mellor
The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in different species and contexts. Six stages of a fictitious scenario involving the dog are considered: (1) its on-farm circumstances before one hind leg is injured; (2) its entanglement in barbed wire, cutting it free and transporting it to a veterinary clinic; (3) the initial veterinary examination and overnight stay; (4) amputation of the limb and immediate post-operative recovery; (5) its first four weeks after rehoming to a lifestyle block; and (6) its subsequent life as an amputee and pet...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Andrew Knight, Madelaine Leitsberger
Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly interested in vegetarian diets for themselves and their companion animals. However, are vegetarian canine and feline diets nutritious and safe? Four studies assessing the nutritional soundness of these diets were reviewed, and manufacturer responses to the most recent studies are provided...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Emily Burton, Andrew Tribe
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Loni Loftus, Kelly Marks, Rosie Jones-McVey, Jose L Gonzales, Veronica L Fowler
Effective training of horses relies on the trainer's awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the opportunistic analysis of beat-to-beat (RR) intervals and heart rate variability (HRV) of ten horses being used in Monty Roberts' public demonstrations within the United Kingdom. RR and HRV was measured in the stable before training and during training...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Matt Bell, Richard Eckard, Peter J Moate, Tianhai Yan
Enteric methane (CH ₄ ) is a by-product from fermentation of feed consumed by ruminants, which represents a nutritional loss and is also considered a contributor to climate change. The aim of this research was to use individual animal data from 17 published experiments that included sheep ( n = 288), beef cattle ( n = 71) and dairy cows ( n = 284) to develop an empirical model to describe enteric CH ₄ emissions from both cattle and sheep, and then evaluate the model alongside equations from the literature...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Kristy DiGiacomo, Sarah Simpson, Brian J Leury, Frank R Dunshea
Heat exposure (HE) results in decreased production in ruminant species and betaine is proposed as a dietary mitigation method. Merino ewes ( n = 36, 40 kg, n = 6 per group) were maintained at thermoneutral (TN, n = 18, 21 °C) or cyclical HE ( n = 18, 18-43 °C) conditions for 21 days, and supplemented with either 0 (control), 2 or 4 g betaine/day. Sheep had ad libitum access to water and were pair fed such that intake of sheep on the TN treatment matched that of HE animals. Heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), rectal (T R ) and skin temperatures (T S ) were measured 3 times daily (0900 h, 1300 h, 1700 h)...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
John McGlone, Kimberly Guay, Arlene Garcia
Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain and distress of subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) injections compared to PC in piglets, and to compare SQ or IM injections in finishing pigs. After farrowing, 3 to 5 d old male piglets were randomly assigned to (control) no handling treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), IM, SQ, or PC...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Penny Hawkins, Mark J Prescott, Larry Carbone, Ngaire Dennison, Craig Johnson, I Joanna Makowska, Nicole Marquardt, Gareth Readman, Daniel M Weary, Huw D R Golledge
Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. In 2013, an international group of researchers and stakeholders met at Newcastle University, United Kingdom to discuss the latest research and which methods could currently be considered most humane for the most commonly used laboratory species (mice, rats and zebrafish)...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Robert Anderson, Robyn Waayers, Andrew Knight
Based on neuroanatomical indices such as brain size and encephalization quotient, orcas are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. They display a range of complex behaviors indicative of social intelligence, but these are difficult to study in the open ocean where protective laws may apply, or in captivity, where access is constrained for commercial and safety reasons. From 1979 to 1980, however, we were able to interact with juvenile orcas in an unstructured way at San Diego's SeaWorld facility. We observed in the animals what appeared to be pranks, tests of trust, limited use of tactical deception, emotional self-control, and empathetic behaviors...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Alice T McNeill, Luke K-P Leung, Mark S Goullet, Matthew N Gentle, Benjamin L Allen
Top-predators around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined with humans, sometimes causing conflict and increasing safety risks in urban areas. In Australia, dingoes and dingo×domesticdoghybridsarecommoninmanyurbanareas,andposeavarietyofhumanhealth and safety risks. However, data on urban dingo ecology is scant. We GPS-collared 37 dingoes in north-easternAustraliaandcontinuouslymonitoredthemeach30minfor11-394days. Mostdingoes were nocturnal, with an overall mean home range size of 17.47 km2. Overall mean daily distance travelled was 6...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Emanuela Dalla Costa, Diana Stucke, Francesca Dai, Michela Minero, Matthew C Leach, Dirk Lebelt
Acute laminitis is a common equine disease characterized by intense foot pain, both acutely and chronically. The Obel grading system is the most widely accepted method for describing the severity of laminitis by equine practitioners, however this method requires movement (walk and trot) of the horse, causing further intense pain. The recently developed Horse Grimace Scale (HGS), a facial-expression-based pain coding system, may offer a more effective means of assessing the pain associated with acute laminitis...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Laura Cox, V Tamara Montrose
Quantity discrimination is a basic form of numerical competence where an animal distinguishes which of two amounts is greater in size. Whilst quantity discrimination in rats has been investigated via training paradigms, rats' natural quantity discrimination abilities without explicit training for a desired response have not been explored. This study investigated domestic rats' ability to perform quantity discrimination. Domestic rats ( n = 12) were examined for their ability to distinguish the larger amount under nine quantity comparisons...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Debra L Hickman, Stephanie D Fitz, Cristian S Bernabe, Izabela F Caliman, Melissa M Haulcomb, Lauren M Federici, Anantha Shekhar, Philip L Johnson
Current recommendations for the use of CO ₂ as a euthanasia agent for rats require the use of gradual fill protocols (such as 10% to 30% volume displacement per minute) in order to render the animal insensible prior to exposure to levels of CO ₂ that are associated with pain. However, exposing rats to CO ₂ , concentrations as low as 7% CO ₂ are reported to cause distress and 10%-20% CO ₂ induces panic-associated behavior and physiology, but loss of consciousness does not occur until CO ₂ concentrations are at least 40%...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Sirichat Chanadang, Kadri Koppel, Greg Aldrich
Pet foods are expected to have a shelf-life for 12 months or more. Sensory analysis can be used to determine changes in products and to estimate products' shelf-life. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate how increasing levels of oxidation in rendered protein meals used to produce extruded pet food affected the sensory properties and (2) determine the effect of shelf-life on pet owners' acceptability of extruded pet food diet formulated without the use of preservative. Pet food diets contained beef meat bone meal (BMBM) and chicken byproduct meal (CBPM) in which the oxidation was retarded with ethoxyquin, mixed tocopherols, or none at all, and then extruded into dry pet foods...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
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