Grooming Device Effects on Behaviour and Welfare of Japanese Black Fattening Cattle
Simple SummaryFattening cattle housed at a private farm in Japan were provided with a grooming device (a brush) during the late fattening stage. Behavioural observation revealed that the environmental enrichment stimulated the animals’ self-grooming and enabled them to scratch more body parts. Viscera disease was not detected in the enrichment animals when they were slaughtered. Environmental enrichment for fattening cattle can be used to satisfy their motivation to perform self-grooming and to improve their welfare.
AbstractIn livestock farming, a stark or barren environment compromises animal welfare. Environmental enrichment has been used to address the issue. For this study, after fattening cattle were provided with a grooming device (a brush), its effect on animal self-grooming and welfare were investigated. For Research trial 1 and 2, respectively, 28 and 11 Japanese Black steers were observed. Three or four of the animals were group-housed in a pen. For Trial 1, half of the animals were provided with a brush. The animals’ behaviour, carcass weight, and Viscera disease were recorded. Enrichment animals (E) performed self-grooming and scratching of the animals’ body on the brush and pen structures more than control animals (C) did (mean time budgets, 3.34% (SD = 2.48) in E and 0.89% (SD = 0.81) in C, GLMM, z value = 8.28, p < 0.001). The number of animals in which viscera disease was detected after slaughter was lower in E than in C (E = 0, C = 4, a Fisher’s exact probability test, p = 0.03). In Trial 2, brush use behaviour was observed continuously for 72 h. The observation revealed that the animals scratched various body parts on the brush. Results show that providing a brush as environmental enrichment improves welfare by satisfying the motivation of fattening cattle to perform self-grooming. View Full-Text
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Ninomiya, S. Grooming Device Effects on Behaviour and Welfare of Japanese Black Fattening Cattle. Animals 2019, 9, 186.
Ninomiya S. Grooming Device Effects on Behaviour and Welfare of Japanese Black Fattening Cattle. Animals. 2019; 9(4):186.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ninomiya, Shigeru. 2019. "Grooming Device Effects on Behaviour and Welfare of Japanese Black Fattening Cattle." Animals 9, no. 4: 186.
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