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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) On encountering animals that appear to be suffering, we may be moved to estimate their welfare. [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Controlling Within-Field Sheep Movement Using Virtual Fencing
Animals 2018, 8(3), 31; doi:10.3390/ani8030031
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Virtual fencing has the potential to greatly improve livestock movement, grazing efficiency, and land management by farmers; however, relatively little work has been done to test the potential of virtual fencing with sheep. Commercial dog training equipment, comprising of a collar and GPS
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Virtual fencing has the potential to greatly improve livestock movement, grazing efficiency, and land management by farmers; however, relatively little work has been done to test the potential of virtual fencing with sheep. Commercial dog training equipment, comprising of a collar and GPS hand-held unit were used to implement a virtual fence in a commercial setting. Six, 5–6 year-old Merino wethers, which were naïve to virtual fencing were GPS tracked for their use of a paddock (80 × 20 m) throughout the experiment. The virtual fence was effective at preventing a small group of sheep from entering the exclusion zone. The probability of a sheep receiving an electrical stimulus following an audio cue was low (19%), and declined over the testing period. It took an average of eight interactions with the fence for an association to be made between the audio and stimulus cue, with all of the animals responding to the audio alone by the third day. Following the removal of the virtual fence, sheep were willing to cross the previous location of the virtual fence after 30 min of being in the paddock. This is an important aspect in the implementation of virtual fencing as a grazing management tool and further enforces that the sheep in this study were able to associate the audio with the virtual fence and not the physical location itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle “Pets Negotiable”: How Do the Perspectives of Landlords and Property Managers Compare with Those of Younger Tenants with Dogs?
Animals 2018, 8(3), 32; doi:10.3390/ani8030032
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Previous research has shown that housing insecurity contributes to animal relinquishment and that tenants with dogs face disadvantages in the rental market. Still, little is known about how dog owners navigate rental markets, nor how landlords and property managers perceive dogs and other
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Previous research has shown that housing insecurity contributes to animal relinquishment and that tenants with dogs face disadvantages in the rental market. Still, little is known about how dog owners navigate rental markets, nor how landlords and property managers perceive dogs and other pets. This case study reports on in-depth interviews with younger tenants with dogs and on open-ended survey responses from landlords and property managers. In their housing searches, tenants with dogs reported feeling powerless in negotiations and feeling discriminated against. They described settling for substandard properties, often located in less desirable neighborhoods. Also, some said they felt obliged to stay put in these rentals, given how difficult it had been to find a place that would accommodate their dogs. Meanwhile, landlords and property managers indicated that listings advertised as “pet-friendly” tend to receive more applicants than listings in which pets are prohibited. Suggestions for improvement included meeting pets prior to signing the lease; getting everything in writing; steering clear from furnished units; charging utilities to tenants; and speeding up the pet approval process when dealing with condominium boards. These suggestions offer implications for future research, partnerships, and policy options to improve the prospects of pets and their people in rental housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessArticle Developing an Ethically Acceptable Virtual Fencing System for Sheep
Animals 2018, 8(3), 33; doi:10.3390/ani8030033
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
To ensure animal welfare isn’t compromised when using virtual fencing, animals must be able to associate a benign conditioned stimulus with an aversive stimulus. This study used an associative learning test to train 30, four-year-old, Merino x Suffolk ewes, to associate an audio
[...] Read more.
To ensure animal welfare isn’t compromised when using virtual fencing, animals must be able to associate a benign conditioned stimulus with an aversive stimulus. This study used an associative learning test to train 30, four-year-old, Merino x Suffolk ewes, to associate an audio cue with an electric stimulus. Collars manually controlled by a GPS hand-held unit were used to deliver the audio and electric stimuli cues. For the associative learning, when sheep approached an attractant at a distance of three m from the trough, an audio cue was applied for one s. If the sheep stopped or changed direction, the audio cue ceased immediately and no electrical stimulus was applied. If the sheep did not respond to the audio cue it was followed by a low-level electrical stimulus. Approaches to the attractant significantly decreased from day one to day two. It took a mean of three pairings of the audio cue and electrical stimulus for a change in behaviour to occur, after which sheep that approached the attractant had a 52% probability of avoiding the electrical stimulus and responding to the audio cue alone. Further research is required to determine whether sheep can be trained to associate an audio cue with a negative stimulus for use in group grazing situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle Necessary, but Not Sufficient. The Benefit Concept in the Project Evaluation of Animal Research in the Context of Directive 2010/63/EU
Animals 2018, 8(3), 34; doi:10.3390/ani8030034
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Directive 2010/63/EU (henceforth “Directive”) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes mandates that every project proposal in EU member states involving procedures on living non-human vertebrates and cephalopods has to be approved in an review process, including a harm-benefit-analysis (HBA), to
[...] Read more.
Directive 2010/63/EU (henceforth “Directive”) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes mandates that every project proposal in EU member states involving procedures on living non-human vertebrates and cephalopods has to be approved in an review process, including a harm-benefit-analysis (HBA), to assess “whether the harm to the animals in terms of suffering, pain and distress is justified by the expected outcome taking into account ethical consideration and may ultimately benefit human beings, animals or the environment”. Despite the justifying relevance of “outcome” and “benefit”, it remains unclear how to understand these concepts. However, national authorities and applicants require a clear understanding of this to carry out a HBA. To analyze the underlying premises of the HBA and its consequences for the evaluation process, we introduce a heuristic to analyze the relation between “outcome”, “benefit” and “prospective benefit assessment”. We then apply the heuristic to all seven legitimate purposes for animal research stated in the Directive, namely basic research, translational or applied research, product safety, education and training, protection of the environment, preservation of species and forensic inquiries. As we show, regardless of which purpose is aimed for, applicants are hard-pressed to demonstrate tangible benefits in a prospective assessment. In the HBA, this becomes a problem since—as we argue—the only reasonable, expected and tangible outcome of research can ever be knowledge. The potential long-term benefits on the basis of gained knowledge are unforeseeable and impossible to predict. Research is bound to fall short of these proclaimed societal benefits and its credibility will suffer as long as research has to validate itself through short-term societal benefit. We propose to revise the ethical evaluation based on the HBA and we think it necessary to develop an alternative model for project evaluation that focuses on the value of knowledge as a scientific outcome as a necessary but not sufficient condition for societal benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Topical Anaesthetic and Buccal Meloxicam Treatments on Concurrent Castration and Dehorning of Beef Calves
Animals 2018, 8(3), 35; doi:10.3390/ani8030035
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The use of pain relief during castration and dehorning of calves on commercial beef operations can be limited by constraints associated with the delivery of analgesic agents. As topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (MEL) are now available in Australia, offering practical analgesic
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The use of pain relief during castration and dehorning of calves on commercial beef operations can be limited by constraints associated with the delivery of analgesic agents. As topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (MEL) are now available in Australia, offering practical analgesic treatments for concurrent castration and dehorning of beef calves, a study was conducted to determine their efficacy in providing pain relief when applied separately or in combination. Weaner calves were randomly allocated to; (1) no castration and dehorning/positive control (CONP); (2) castration and dehorning/negative control (CONN); (3) castration and dehorning with buccal meloxicam (BM); (4) castration and dehorning with topical anaesthetic (TA); and (5) castration and dehorning with buccal meloxicam and topical anaesthetic (BMTA). Weight gain, paddock utilisation, lying activity and individual behaviours following treatment were measured. CONP and BMTA calves had significantly greater weight gain than CONN calves (p < 0.001). CONN calves spent less time lying compared to BMTA calves on all days (p < 0.001). All dehorned and castrated calves spent more time walking (p = 0.024) and less time eating (p < 0.001) compared to CONP calves. There was a trend for CONP calves to spend the most time standing and CONN calves to spend the least time standing (p = 0.059). There were also trends for the frequency of head turns to be lowest in CONP and BMTA calves (p = 0.098) and tail flicks to be highest in CONN and BM calves (p = 0.061). The findings of this study suggest that TA and MEL can potentially improve welfare and production of calves following surgical castration and amputation dehorning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle Factors Informing Outcomes for Older Cats and Dogs in Animal Shelters
Animals 2018, 8(3), 36; doi:10.3390/ani8030036
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
With advances in veterinary medicine that can increase the lifespan of cats and dogs and the effectiveness of spay/neuter programs in reducing the juvenile population of pets, animal shelters are experiencing an increasing population of older companion animals in their care. The purpose
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With advances in veterinary medicine that can increase the lifespan of cats and dogs and the effectiveness of spay/neuter programs in reducing the juvenile population of pets, animal shelters are experiencing an increasing population of older companion animals in their care. The purpose of this study was to assess the factors that inform the outcomes of these older cats and dogs. The sample consisted of 124 cats and 122 dogs that were over the age of 84 months (seven years) who were taken into a shelter over a one-year period. To assess the impact of condition at intake on the outcome for the senior animals, a multinomial logistic regression was performed. These findings indicate that preventative programming that can address the reasons these older animals are surrendered, as well as advancements in specialized medical or behavioral programs for ageing companion animals, may support an increase in live outcomes for older cats and dogs in shelters. Further study is needed to evaluate how the quality of life of older animals is impacted by remaining in the care of shelters rather than being euthanized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Alternative Euthanasia Methods of Neonatal Chickens
Animals 2018, 8(3), 37; doi:10.3390/ani8030037
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Hatched male layer chicks are currently euthanized by maceration in the United States. Public concerns on the use of maceration have led to the search for alternative methods. We hypothesized that gas inhalation and low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) are viable and humane
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Hatched male layer chicks are currently euthanized by maceration in the United States. Public concerns on the use of maceration have led to the search for alternative methods. We hypothesized that gas inhalation and low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) are viable and humane alternatives to instantaneous mechanical destruction. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physiological and behavioral responses of recently hatched male layer chicks when subjected to carbon dioxide, nitrogen inhalation, or LAPS. The study consisted of seven treatments: breathing air (NEG), 25% carbon dioxide (CO2), 50% CO2, 75% CO2, 90% CO2, 100% nitrogen (N2), or LAPS. Ten day-of-hatch, male layer chicks were randomly assigned to each treatment, and each treatment was replicated on ten different days. A custom-made vacuum system was used to reduce air pressure inside the chamber from 100.12 kPa to 15.3 kPa for the LAPS treatment. Serum corticosterone and serotonin levels were measured using commercially available competitive enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Latencies to loss of posture and motionlessness were determined from video recordings. The 25% and 50% CO2 treatments were discontinued after the first replication, as the majority of the chicks recovered. The chicks in the negative (NEG) group had significantly higher levels of corticosterone than the other four euthanasia treatments. On the other hand, the serotonin levels of chicks in the NEG group was significantly lower when compared to the other four euthanasia treatments. The latencies to loss of posture and motionlessness of chicks exposed to 75% and 90% CO2 were significantly shorter than those in the LAPS and N2 inhalation treatments. These data suggest that the stress responses of chicks to the CO2, N2, and LAPS treatments do not differ among each other. However, the CO2 inhalation method was faster in inducing loss of posture and motionlessness in chicks than the LAPS and N2 inhalation treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane Killing and Euthanasia of Animals on Farms)
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Open AccessArticle Welfare Risks of Repeated Application of On-Farm Killing Methods for Poultry
Animals 2018, 8(3), 39; doi:10.3390/ani8030039
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract
Council Regulation (EC) no. 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing restricts the use of manual cervical dislocation in poultry on farms in the European Union (EU) to birds weighing up to 3 kg and 70 birds per person
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Council Regulation (EC) no. 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing restricts the use of manual cervical dislocation in poultry on farms in the European Union (EU) to birds weighing up to 3 kg and 70 birds per person per day. However, few studies have examined whether repeated application of manual cervical dislocation has welfare implications and whether these are dependent on individual operator skill or susceptibility to fatigue. We investigated the effects of repeated application (100 birds at a fixed killing rate of 1 bird per 2 min) and multiple operators on two methods of killing of broilers, laying hens, and turkeys in commercial settings. We compared the efficacy and welfare impact of repeated application of cervical dislocation and a percussive killer (Cash Poultry Killer, CPK), using 12 male stockworkers on three farms (one farm per bird type). Both methods achieved over 96% kill success at the first attempt. The killing methods were equally effective for each bird type and there was no evidence of reduced performance with time and/or bird number. Both methods of killing caused a rapid loss of reflexes, indicating loss of brain function. There was more variation in reflex durations and post-mortem damage in birds killed by cervical dislocation than that found using CPK. High neck dislocation was associated with improved kill success and more rapid loss of reflexes. The CPK caused damage to multiple brain areas with little variation. Overall, the CPK was associated with faster abolition of reflexes, with fewer birds exhibiting them at all, suggestive of better welfare outcomes. However, technical difficulties with the CPK highlighted the advantages of cervical dislocation, which can be performed immediately with no equipment. At the killing rates tested, we did not find evidence to justify the current EU limit on the number of birds that one operator can kill on–farm by manual cervical dislocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane Killing and Euthanasia of Animals on Farms)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Evaluation of Different Gases and Gas Combinations for On-Farm Euthanasia of Pre-Weaned Pigs
Animals 2018, 8(3), 40; doi:10.3390/ani8030040
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this research was to evaluate the welfare of pre-weaned piglets euthanised using three different gas treatments: 100% carbon dioxide (CO2), 100% argon (Ar) or a mixture of 60% Ar/40% carbon dioxide (Ar/CO2). Two studies (n =
[...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to evaluate the welfare of pre-weaned piglets euthanised using three different gas treatments: 100% carbon dioxide (CO2), 100% argon (Ar) or a mixture of 60% Ar/40% carbon dioxide (Ar/CO2). Two studies (n = 5 piglets/treatment/study) were conducted: (1) behavioural and physiological data were collected from conscious piglets during exposure to test gases via immersion in a pre-filled chamber and (2) electrophysiological data were collected from lightly anaesthetised, intubated and mechanically ventilated piglets exposed to the same test gases. Based on the duration of escape attempts and laboured breathing, piglets exposed to 100% CO2 experienced more stress than piglets exposed to 100% Ar prior to loss of consciousness, but there appeared to be no advantage of mixing Ar with CO2 on indices of animal welfare. However, spectral analysis of the electroencephalogram revealed no changes consistent with nociception during exposure to any of the three gas treatments. Based on the behavioural response to gas exposure, all gases tested caused signs of stress prior to piglets losing consciousness and hence alternative methods of euthanasia need to be evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane Killing and Euthanasia of Animals on Farms)
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Open AccessArticle Using the Five Domains Model to Assess the Adverse Impacts of Husbandry, Veterinary, and Equitation Interventions on Horse Welfare
Animals 2018, 8(3), 41; doi:10.3390/ani8030041
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 18 March 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to conduct a series of paper-based exercises in order to assess the negative (adverse) welfare impacts, if any, of common interventions on domestic horses across a broad range of different contexts of equine care and training. An
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The aim of this study was to conduct a series of paper-based exercises in order to assess the negative (adverse) welfare impacts, if any, of common interventions on domestic horses across a broad range of different contexts of equine care and training. An international panel (with professional expertise in psychology, equitation science, veterinary science, education, welfare, equestrian coaching, advocacy, and community engagement; n = 16) met over a four-day period to define and assess these interventions, using an adaptation of the domain-based assessment model. The interventions were considered within 14 contexts: C1 Weaning; C2 Diet; C3 Housing; C4 Foundation training; C5 Ill-health and veterinary interventions (chiefly medical); C6 Ill-health and veterinary interventions (chiefly surgical); C7 Elective procedures; C8 Care procedures; C9 Restraint for management procedures; C10 Road transport; C11 Activity—competition; C12 Activity—work; C13 Activity—breeding females; and C14 Activity—breeding males. Scores on a 1–10 scale for Domain 5 (the mental domain) gathered during the workshop were compared with overall impact scores on a 1–10 scale assigned by the same panellists individually before the workshop. The most severe (median and interquartile range, IQR) impacts within each context were identified during the workshop as: C1 abrupt, individual weaning (10 IQR 1); C2 feeding 100% low-energy concentrate (8 IQR 2.5); C3 indoor tie stalls with no social contact (9 IQR 1.5); C4 both (i) dropping horse with ropes (9 IQR 0.5) and forced flexion (9 IQR 0.5); C5 long-term curative medical treatments (8 IQR 3); C6 major deep intracavity surgery (8.5 IQR 1); C7 castration without veterinary supervision (10 IQR 1); C8 both (i) tongue ties (8 IQR 2.5) and (ii) restrictive nosebands (8 IQR 2.5); C9 ear twitch (8 IQR 1); C10 both (i) individual transport (7.00 IQR 1.5) and group transport with unfamiliar companions (7 IQR 1.5); C11 both (i) jumps racing (8 IQR 2.5) and Western performance (8 IQR 1.5); C12 carriage and haulage work (6 IQR 1.5); C13 wet nurse during transition between foals (7.5 IQR 3.75); and C14 teaser horse (7 IQR 8). Associations between pre-workshop and workshop scores were high, but some rankings changed after workshop participation, particularly relating to breeding practices. Domain 1 had the weakest association with Domain 5. The current article discusses the use of the domain-based model in equine welfare assessment, and offers a series of assumptions within each context that future users of the same approach may make when assessing animal welfare under the categories reported here. It also discusses some limitations in the framework that was used to apply the model. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Evaluation of Two Models of Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Devices for On-Farm Euthanasia of Turkeys
Animals 2018, 8(3), 42; doi:10.3390/ani8030042
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
On-farm euthanasia is a critical welfare issue in the poultry industry and can be particularly difficult to perform on mature turkeys due to their size. We evaluated the efficacy of two commercially available non-penetrating captive bolt devices, the Zephyr-EXL and the Turkey Euthanasia
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On-farm euthanasia is a critical welfare issue in the poultry industry and can be particularly difficult to perform on mature turkeys due to their size. We evaluated the efficacy of two commercially available non-penetrating captive bolt devices, the Zephyr-EXL and the Turkey Euthanasia Device (TED), on 253 turkeys at three stages of production: 4–5, 10, and 15–20 weeks of age. Effectiveness of each device was measured using both ante- and post-mortem measures. Application of the Zephyr-EXL resulted in a greater success rate (immediate abolishment of brainstem reflexes) compared to the TED (97.6% vs. 89.3%, p = 0.0145). Times to last movement (p = 0.102) and cardiac arrest (p = 0.164) did not differ between devices. Ante- and post-mortem measures of trauma and hemorrhage were highly correlated. Skull fractures and gross subdural hemorrhage (SDH) were present in 100% of birds euthanized with both the Zephyr-EXL and TED devices. Gross SDH scores were greater in birds killed with the Zephyr-EXL than the TED (p < 0.001). Microscopic SDH scores indicated moderate to severe hemorrhage in 92% of turkeys for the Zephyr-EXL and 96% of turkeys for the TED, with no difference between devices (p = 0.844). Overall, both devices were highly effective inducing immediate insensibility through traumatic brain injury and are reliable, single-step methods for on-farm euthanasia of turkeys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane Killing and Euthanasia of Animals on Farms)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview A Review of Success Factors for Piglet Fostering in Lactation
Animals 2018, 8(3), 38; doi:10.3390/ani8030038
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Piglet movement from one sow to another, or fostering, is required in modern pig farming but there is little available literature on the most effective strategy. In this review, we focus on the behavioural and physiological mechanisms responsible for piglet survival and growth,
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Piglet movement from one sow to another, or fostering, is required in modern pig farming but there is little available literature on the most effective strategy. In this review, we focus on the behavioural and physiological mechanisms responsible for piglet survival and growth, and have identified six key principles. (1) Colostrum provides piglets with warmth, energy and immunity. It is most accessible during the first 12 h from the birth sow, therefore no piglet should be moved before this; (2) To ensure even intake of birth sow colostrum, techniques such as split suckling prior to piglet movement should be implemented; (3) Udder assessment for functional teats should occur at farrowing, with number of fostered piglets not exceeding teat number; (4) Primiparous sows should receive as many piglets as the udder allows to maximise mammary stimulation, although older parities should be assessed for rearing ability; (5) Piglet fostering should occur between 12 and 24 h and movement kept to a minimum to prevent transfer of disease; Litter outliers should be moved and relocated to a litter of similar size; (6) Piglet movement after 24 h should be minimised. When required, strategies such as nurse usage should be employed. These principles will result in improved farrowing house performance by increasing the litter weight weaned per sow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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