Topic Editors

Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Dr. Kurt Vogel
Department of Animal and Food Science, University of Wisconsin at River Falls, River Falls, WI 54022, USA

Practical Methods for Accommodating Behavioral Needs and Improving the Wellbeing of Both Farm Animals

Abstract submission deadline
closed (20 March 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
20 June 2024
Viewed by
5163

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Decades of research clearly show that animals that live in a barren environment should have environmental enrichments. When animals are able to engage in natural behaviors, their welfare is improved. The emphasis in this Topic will be on enrichments that are both effective and practical to implement. For example, research has clearly shown that straw is an excellent environmental enrichment for pigs. The problem is that straw is not available in some parts of the world, and it may clog the waste management systems in slatted floor systems. This issue will include papers on both effective substitutes for straw and the latest information on practical group housing systems for sows.

Another animal welfare concern that is receiving increasing public attention is removing newborn calves from dairy cows. Researchers will be invited to present research on effective methods for keeping calves with dairy cows. In the poultry industry, there has been a rapid evolution of housing systems to replace small battery cages for laying hens. Numerous studies have shown that there are advantages and disadvantages to different types of loose housing systems. Authors will be invited to present information on practical systems that work.

This topic will consist of my introductory paper, authors invited by the editor, and readers who can contribute innovative, practical methods to improve animal wellbeing. This is especially important for farm animals living in intensive systems. Preventing suffering is not sufficient for the best animal welfare. Research clearly shows that animals should have opportunities to engage in positive emotional experiences. Some of the topics that will be covered in this topic are:

  • Pros and cons of different types of group housing for sows;
  • Dairy calf rearing systems;
  • Grooming brushes for cattle;
  • Devices for enriching intensively raised pigs;
  • Enrichment devices for broiler chickens;
  • Pros and cons of different types of enriched housing for laying hens.

The emphasis in this issue will be on enrichment methods that will be effective in commercial systems. There is a need for practical methods for both large commercial systems and small-scale farms. This issue can help provide guidance to animal welfare officers that are now being hired by many commercial companies.

Prof. Dr. Temple Grandin
Dr. Kurt Vogel
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • animal welfare
  • environmental enrichment
  • cattle
  • pigs
  • poultry
  • broilers
  • laying hens
  • calves
  • behavior

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 3.6 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Animals
animals
3.0 4.2 2011 18.1 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Dairy
dairy
- 2.4 2020 24.6 Days CHF 1200 Submit
Ruminants
ruminants
- - 2021 20.9 Days CHF 1000 Submit
Veterinary Sciences
vetsci
2.4 2.3 2014 19.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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13 pages, 2164 KiB  
Article
Sleep Pattern Interference in the Cognitive Performance of Lusitano Horses
by Ângela P. Barbosa, Tiago M. Oliveira, Pedro Henrique E. Trindade, Sarah R. T. Seidel, Paula K. A. Tokawa, Fernando M. Jaramilo, Neimar V. Roncati and Raquel Y. A. Baccarin
Animals 2024, 14(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14020334 - 21 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Like most mammalian, polyphasic sleep, equine sleep can be divided into two phases: the REM (rapid eye movement) phase and the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) phase. For this study, a randomized crossover experiment was conducted using ten purebred Lusitano horses, all dressage athletes [...] Read more.
Like most mammalian, polyphasic sleep, equine sleep can be divided into two phases: the REM (rapid eye movement) phase and the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) phase. For this study, a randomized crossover experiment was conducted using ten purebred Lusitano horses, all dressage athletes aged from three to seven years old. The horses were filmed before the intervention to characterize their sleep patterns. REM sleep deprivation was achieved by not letting the horses attain sternal or lateral recumbency for three consecutive days, totaling 72 h. A spatial memory task and a visual attention test were performed. A recording time of 48 h appeared to be long enough to characterize the sleep patterns of the stalled horses. The total recumbency time of the studied population was lower than that previously reported in horses. Although the recumbency times before and after the intervention were similar, there was a tendency shown by the delta (p = 0.0839) towards an increased time needed to resolve spatial memory tasks in the sleep-deprived group. Future studies may deepen the understanding of horse sleep requirements and patterns, and the effects of environmental changes on horse sleep. Full article
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9 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Non-Contact Device to Measure Body Temperature in Sheep
by Carla Ibáñez, María Moreno-Manrique, Aránzazu Villagrá, Joel Bueso-Ródenas and Carlos Mínguez
Animals 2024, 14(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010098 - 27 Dec 2023
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Non-contact devices have been used in the measurement of body temperature in livestock production as a tool for testing disease in different species. However, there are few studies about the variation and correlations in body temperature between rectal temperature (RT) and non-contact devices [...] Read more.
Non-contact devices have been used in the measurement of body temperature in livestock production as a tool for testing disease in different species. However, there are few studies about the variation and correlations in body temperature between rectal temperature (RT) and non-contact devices such as non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT) and thermal imaging/infrared thermography (IRT). The objective of this work was to evaluate the accuracy of non-contact devices to measure the body temperature in sheep, considering six body regions and the possibility of implementing these systems in herd management. The experiment was carried out at the experimental farm of the Catholic University of Valencia, located in the municipality of Massanassa in July of 2021, with 72 dry manchega ewes, and we compared the rectal temperature with two types of non-contact infrared devices for the assessment of body temperature in healthy sheep. Except for the temperature taken by NCIT at the muzzle, the correlation between RT vs. NCIT or IRT showed a low significance or was difficult to use for practical flock management purposes. In addition, the variability between devices was high, which implies that measurements should be interpreted with caution in warm climates and open pens, such as most sheep farms in the Spanish Mediterranean area. The use of infrared cameras devices to assess body temperature may have a promising future, but in order to be widely applied as a routine management method on farms, the system needs to become cheaper, simpler in terms of measurements and quicker in terms of analyzing results. Full article
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12 pages, 1171 KiB  
Commentary
A Practical Approach to Providing Environmental Enrichment to Pigs and Broiler Chickens Housed in Intensive Systems
by Temple Grandin
Animals 2023, 13(14), 2372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13142372 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
In Europe, regulations contain guidance to maintain high standards of animal welfare. In many parts of the world, large buyers for supermarkets or restaurants are the main enforcers of basic animal welfare standards. They can have considerable influence on improving standards on large [...] Read more.
In Europe, regulations contain guidance to maintain high standards of animal welfare. In many parts of the world, large buyers for supermarkets or restaurants are the main enforcers of basic animal welfare standards. They can have considerable influence on improving standards on large commercial farms. Research clearly shows that straw is one of the most effective environmental enrichment for pigs. On some large farms, there are concerns that straw will either clog waste management systems or bring in disease. This paper contains a review of both scientific research and practical experience with enrichment devices that are easy to implement. Pigs prefer enrichment objects that they can chew up and deform. Broiler chickens prefer to climb up on objects, hide under them or peck them. It is always essential to uphold basic welfare standards such as animal cleanliness and low levels of lameness (difficulty walking). It is also important to reduce lesions, and maintain body conditions of breeding animals. An environment enrichment device is never a substitute for poorly managed facilities. It should enhance animal welfare on well-managed farms. Full article
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