Special Issue "Animal Management in the 21st Century"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Wendy Y Brown
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Animal Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Fax: +61 2 6773 3922
Interests: companion animal nutrition and health; canine dental health; feeding behavior and food preferences; urate urolithiasis in the dalmatian
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the 21st century, animal managers face more challenges than ever before. For all species of animals under human care, whether in zoos, research facilities, or pet owners' homes, there are increasing demands for improved animal welfare, reduced environmental impact, and greater accountability. For the production animal industries, there are additional pressures to improve productivity with decreasing resources to feed a globally increasing population. Whilst at the same time, overpopulation of invasive and pest animals compete for many of the same resources. To help meet these challenges, animal managers in the 21st century need to be innovative and inventive. In a changing and diverse world this can mean revisiting older technologies with typically lower environmental impact, or utilizing the latest advances in 'smart' technologies, from drones to GPS trackers.

Original manuscripts that address any aspects of animal management are invited for this special issue. Topics of special interest are those that utilize emerging technologies to address 21st century challenges, and innovative approaches to improving animal welfare and management.

Dr. Wendy Y Brown
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • animal breeding
  • animal health and disease management
  • animal husbandry
  • animal management
  • animal welfare
  • biosecurity
  • companion animal regulations
  • environmental impact
  • GPS tracking
  • pet keeping trends
  • pest animal management
  • population management
  • precision agriculture
  • remote sensing technologies
  • wildlife conservation management
  • zoo keeping

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Using GPS Technology to Understand Spatial and Temporal Activity of Kangaroos in a Peri-Urban Environment
Animals 2018, 8(6), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060097 - 17 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The increasing kangaroo occurrence in expanding peri-urban areas can be problematic when kangaroos become aggressive towards people and present a collision risk to motor vehicles. An improved understanding on kangaroo spatial and temporal activity patterns in the peri-urban environment is essential to manage [...] Read more.
The increasing kangaroo occurrence in expanding peri-urban areas can be problematic when kangaroos become aggressive towards people and present a collision risk to motor vehicles. An improved understanding on kangaroo spatial and temporal activity patterns in the peri-urban environment is essential to manage kangaroo–human conflict. In this study, we used GPS telemetry to determine activity patterns of male Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) in a peri-urban community on the north-coast of New South Wales, Australia. Two types of GPS devices were employed; collars and cheaper alternative glue-on units. Kangaroos moved on average 2.39 km a day, with an average movement rate of 1.89 m/min, which was greatest at dawn. The GPS glue-on devices had short deployment lengths of one to 12 days. Despite limitations in attachment time, the glue-on devices were viable in obtaining daily spatial and temporal activity data. Our results aid towards alleviating conflict with kangaroos by providing new insights into kangaroo movements and activity within a peri-urban environment and introduces a potential cheap GPS alternative for obtaining this data relative to more expensive collars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Anthropogenic Food Subsidy to a Commensal Carnivore: The Value and Supply of Human Faeces in the Diet of Free-Ranging Dogs
Animals 2018, 8(5), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8050067 - 27 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
As the global population of free-ranging domestic dogs grows, there is increasing concern about impacts on human health and wildlife conservation. Effective management of dog populations requires reliable information on their diet, feeding behavior, and social ecology. Free-ranging dogs are reliant on humans, [...] Read more.
As the global population of free-ranging domestic dogs grows, there is increasing concern about impacts on human health and wildlife conservation. Effective management of dog populations requires reliable information on their diet, feeding behavior, and social ecology. Free-ranging dogs are reliant on humans, but anthropogenic food subsidies, particularly human faeces (i.e., coprophagy) have not previously been fully quantified. In this study we assess the contributions of different food types to the diet, and their influences on the social behaviour of free-ranging dogs in communal lands of rural Zimbabwe, with a focus on coprophagy. Free-ranging dog diets, body condition, and sociology were studied amongst 72 dogs over 18 months using scat analysis and direct observations. Human faeces constituted the fourth most common item in scats (56% occurrence) and contributed 21% by mass to the observed diet. Human faeces represented a valuable resource because relative to other food items it was consistently available, and of higher nutritional value than ‘sadza’ (maize porridge, the human staple and primary human-derived food), yielding 18.7% crude protein and 18.7 KJ/kg gross energy, compared to 8.3% and 18.5 KJ/kg for sadza, respectively. Human faeces had protein and energy values equivalent to mammal remains, another important food item. Dog condition was generally good, with 64% of adult females and 74% of adult males in the highest two body condition scores (on a five point scale), suggesting a plentiful and high quality food supply. Dogs largely fed alone, perhaps as a consequence of the small, inert, and spatially dispersed items that comprise their diet, and its abundance. We discuss the relationships between sanitation, human development, the supply of human faeces, female dog fertility, and population control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dog and Cat Interactions in a Remote Aboriginal Community
Animals 2018, 8(5), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8050065 - 26 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study examined dog and cat demographics, roaming behaviours, and interspecific interactions in a remote Aboriginal island community using multiple methods. Our results revealed temporal differences between the roaming behaviours of dogs, cats, and wildlife. Dogs showed crepuscular behaviour, being active around dawn [...] Read more.
This study examined dog and cat demographics, roaming behaviours, and interspecific interactions in a remote Aboriginal island community using multiple methods. Our results revealed temporal differences between the roaming behaviours of dogs, cats, and wildlife. Dogs showed crepuscular behaviour, being active around dawn (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) and dusk (6:00 p.m. and 11:35 p.m.). The majority of cats were active between dawn (6:30 a.m.) and dusk (7:30 p.m.) and travelled shorter distances than dogs. However, some cats were also observed roaming between dusk and dawn, and were likely to be hunting since flightless wildlife were also recorded on our remote-sensing cameras during this time. These baseline data provide evidence to suggest that new management programs are needed to reduce the number of roaming cats and therefore their potential impacts on native wildlife. Collaborations between Aboriginal owners and other stakeholders is necessary to design innovative and effective animal management and policy on the island. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Flooring Substrate Impact Kennel and Dog Cleanliness in Commercial Breeding Facilities?
Animals 2018, 8(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8040059 - 21 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Evaluation of kennel flooring surfaces is needed to understand their impacts on dog health and well-being. This pilot study aimed to characterize aspects of physical health, kennel cleanliness, and dog body cleanliness on flooring types common in US breeding kennels. Subjects were 118 [...] Read more.
Evaluation of kennel flooring surfaces is needed to understand their impacts on dog health and well-being. This pilot study aimed to characterize aspects of physical health, kennel cleanliness, and dog body cleanliness on flooring types common in US breeding kennels. Subjects were 118 adult dogs housed on diamond-coated expanded metal (DCEM), polypropylene (POLY), or concrete (CON) flooring at five commercial breeding facilities in Indiana, U.S. Body condition, paw, elbow, and hock health scores were recorded. Each indoor kennel and dog was visually assessed for cleanliness. Kennels were swabbed immediately after cleaning with electrostatic dry cloths and cultured for Escherichia coli. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Mean body condition score (BCS), kennel and dog cleanliness scores were all near ideal (3, 1.15, and 1.04, respectively). Thirty-one percent or fewer kennels at each facility were culture-positive for E. coli after cleaning. No serious paw, elbow, or hock problems were identified. Overall, the findings indicate that with appropriate management and regular access to additional surfaces, dog foot health, cleanliness, and kennel cleanliness can be maintained on the flooring types investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Topical Anaesthetic and Buccal Meloxicam Treatments on Concurrent Castration and Dehorning of Beef Calves
Animals 2018, 8(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030035 - 28 Feb 2018
Cited by 3
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 [...] Read more.
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
Developing an Ethically Acceptable Virtual Fencing System for Sheep
Animals 2018, 8(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030033 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 5
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
Controlling Within-Field Sheep Movement Using Virtual Fencing
Animals 2018, 8(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030031 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 3
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 [...] Read more.
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
A Novel Non-Invasive Selection Criterion for the Preservation of Primitive Dutch Konik Horses
Animals 2018, 8(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020021 - 01 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Dutch Konik is valued from a genetic conservation perspective and also for its role in preservation of natural landscapes. The primary management objective for the captive breeding of this primitive horse is to maintain its genetic purity, whilst also maintaining the nature [...] Read more.
The Dutch Konik is valued from a genetic conservation perspective and also for its role in preservation of natural landscapes. The primary management objective for the captive breeding of this primitive horse is to maintain its genetic purity, whilst also maintaining the nature reserves on which they graze. Breeding selection has traditionally been based on phenotypic characteristics consistent with the breed description, and the selection of animals for removal from the breeding program is problematic at times due to high uniformity within the breed, particularly in height at the wither, colour (mouse to grey dun) and presence of primitive markings. With the objective of identifying an additional non-invasive selection criterion with potential uniqueness to the Dutch Konik, this study investigates the anatomic parameters of the distal equine limb, with a specific focus on the relative lengths of the individual splint bones. Post-mortem dissections performed on distal limbs of Dutch Konik (n = 47) and modern domesticated horses (n = 120) revealed significant differences in relation to the length and symmetry of the 2nd and 4th Metacarpals and Metatarsals. Distal limb characteristics with apparent uniqueness to the Dutch Konik are described which could be an important tool in the selection and preservation of the breed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Lameness in Sheep Activity Using Tri-Axial Acceleration Signals
Animals 2018, 8(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8010012 - 11 Jan 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Lameness is a clinical symptom associated with a number of sheep diseases around the world, having adverse effects on weight gain, fertility, and lamb birth weight, and increasing the risk of secondary diseases. Current methods to identify lame animals rely on labour intensive [...] Read more.
Lameness is a clinical symptom associated with a number of sheep diseases around the world, having adverse effects on weight gain, fertility, and lamb birth weight, and increasing the risk of secondary diseases. Current methods to identify lame animals rely on labour intensive visual inspection. The aim of this current study was to determine the ability of a collar, leg, and ear attached tri-axial accelerometer to discriminate between sound and lame gait movement in sheep. Data were separated into 10 s mutually exclusive behaviour epochs and subjected to Quadratic Discriminant Analysis (QDA). Initial analysis showed the high misclassification of lame grazing events with sound grazing and standing from all deployment modes. The final classification model, which included lame walking and all sound activity classes, yielded a prediction accuracy for lame locomotion of 82%, 35%, and 87% for the ear, collar, and leg deployments, respectively. Misclassification of sound walking with lame walking within the leg accelerometer dataset highlights the superiority of an ear mode of attachment for the classification of lame gait characteristics based on time series accelerometer data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Calves Use an Automated Brush and a Hanging Rope When Pair-Housed
Animals 2017, 7(11), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7110084 - 09 Nov 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Calf housing often only meets the basic needs of calves, but there is a growing interest in providing enrichments. This study described the behaviour of calves when they were given the opportunity to interact with two commonly available enrichment items. Female and male [...] Read more.
Calf housing often only meets the basic needs of calves, but there is a growing interest in providing enrichments. This study described the behaviour of calves when they were given the opportunity to interact with two commonly available enrichment items. Female and male calves (approximately 11 days old) were pair-housed in 8 identical pens fitted with an automated brush and a hanging rope. Frequency and duration of behaviours were recorded on 3 separate days (from 12:00 until 08:00 the following day. Calves spent equal time using the brush and rope (27.1 min/day), but there was less variation in the use of the brush as opposed to the rope (coefficient of variation, CV: 23 vs. 78%, respectively). Calves had more frequent (94 bouts, CV: 24%) and shorter (17.8 s/bout, CV: 24%) brush use bouts compared to fewer (38 bouts, CV: 43%) and longer (38.3 s/bout, CV: 53%) rope use bouts. There was a diurnal pattern of use for both items. Frequency of play was similar to rope use, but total time playing was 8% of rope and brush use. Variability among calves suggested that individual preference existed; however, the social dynamics of the pair-housed environment were not measured and therefore could have influenced brush and rope use. Multiple enrichment items should be considered when designing improvements to calf housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Impact and Relative Invasiveness of Free-Roaming Domestic Carnivores—a North American Survey of Governmental Agencies
Animals 2017, 7(10), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7100078 - 14 Oct 2017
Abstract
A survey of the United States and Canadian governmental agencies investigated the environmental impact and relative invasiveness of free-roaming domestic non-native carnivores—dogs, cats, and ferrets. Agencies represented wildlife, fish, game, natural or environmental resources, parks and recreation, veterinary and human health, animal control, [...] Read more.
A survey of the United States and Canadian governmental agencies investigated the environmental impact and relative invasiveness of free-roaming domestic non-native carnivores—dogs, cats, and ferrets. Agencies represented wildlife, fish, game, natural or environmental resources, parks and recreation, veterinary and human health, animal control, and agriculture. Respondents were asked to document the number and frequency of sightings of unconfined animals, evidence for environmental harm, and the resulting “degree of concern” in their respective jurisdictions. Results confirmed the existence of feral (breeding) cats and dogs, documenting high levels of concern regarding the impact of these animals on both continental and surrounding insular habitats. Except for occasional strays, no free-roaming or feral ferrets were reported; nor were there reports of ferrets impacting native wildlife, including ground-nesting birds, or sensitive species. This is the first study to report the relative impact of free-roaming domestic carnivores. Dogs and cats meet the current definition of “invasive” species, whereas ferrets do not. Differences in how each species impacts the North American environment highlights the complex interaction between non-native species and their environment. Public attitudes and perceptions regarding these species may be a factor in their control and agency management priorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Brazilian Citizens’ Opinions and Attitudes about Farm Animal Production Systems
Animals 2017, 7(10), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7100075 - 28 Sep 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
The inclusion of societal input is needed for food animal production industries to retain their “social license to operate”; failure to engage with the public on this topic risks the long-term sustainability of these industries. The primary aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
The inclusion of societal input is needed for food animal production industries to retain their “social license to operate”; failure to engage with the public on this topic risks the long-term sustainability of these industries. The primary aim of this study was to explore the beliefs and attitudes of Brazilians citizens not associated with livestock production towards farm animal production. A related secondary aim was to identify the specific beliefs and attitudes towards systems that are associated with restriction of movement. Each participant was shown pictures representing two of five possible major food animal industries (laying hens, beef cattle, pregnant sows, lactating sows, and poultry meat). Participants were presented a six pages survey that included demographic questions plus two sets of two pictures and a series of questions pertaining to the pictures. Each set of pictures represented a particular industry where one picture represented a housing type that is associated with behavioural restrictions and the other picture represented a system that allowed for a greater degree of movement. Participants were asked their perceptions on the prevalence of each system in Brazil, then their preference of one picture vs. the other, and the reasons justifying their preference. Immediately following, the participant repeated the same exercise with the second set of two pictures representing another industry followed by the same series of questions as described above. Quantitative data were analysed with mixed effects logistic regression, and qualitative responses were coded into themes. The proportion of participants that believed animals are reared in confinement varied by animal production type: 23% (beef cattle), 82% (poultry), 81% (laying hens), and 60% (swine). A large majority (79%) stated that farm animals are not well-treated in Brazil. Overall, participants preferred systems that were not associated with behavioural restriction. The preference for free-range or cage-free systems was justified based on the following reasons: naturalness, animals’ freedom to move, and ethics. A minority of participants indicated a preference for more restrictive systems, citing reasons associated with food security and food safety, increased productivity and hygiene. Our results suggest that the majority of our participants, preferred farm animal production systems that provide greater freedom of movement, which aligned with their perception that these systems are better for the animal. Our results provide some evidence that the current farm animal housing practices that are associated with restriction of movement, which are gaining traction in Brazil, may not align with societal expectations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle
Tech-Savvy Beef Cattle? How Heifers Respond to Moving Virtual Fence Lines
Animals 2017, 7(9), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7090072 - 18 Sep 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Global Positioning System (GPS)-based virtual fences offer the potential to improve the management of grazing animals. Prototype collar devices utilising patented virtual fencing algorithms were placed on six Angus heifers in a 6.15 hectare paddock. After a “no fence” period, sequential, shifting virtual [...] Read more.
Global Positioning System (GPS)-based virtual fences offer the potential to improve the management of grazing animals. Prototype collar devices utilising patented virtual fencing algorithms were placed on six Angus heifers in a 6.15 hectare paddock. After a “no fence” period, sequential, shifting virtual fences restricted the animals to 40%, 60%, and 80% of the paddock area widthways and 50% lengthways across 22 days. Audio cues signaled the virtual boundary, and were paired with electrical stimuli if the animals continued forward into the boundary. Within approximately 48 h, the cattle learned the 40% fence and were henceforth restricted to the subsequent inclusion zones a minimum of 96.70% (±standard error 0.01%) of the time. Over time, the animals increasingly stayed within the inclusion zones using audio cues alone, and on average, approached the new fence within 4.25 h. The animals were thus attentive to the audio cue, not the fence location. The time spent standing and lying and the number of steps were similar between inclusion zones (all p ≥ 0.42). More lying bouts occurred at the 80% and lengthways inclusion zones relative to “no fence” (p = 0.04). Further research should test different cattle groups in variable paddock settings and measure physiological welfare responses to the virtual fencing stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030038 - 09 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
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, [...] Read more.
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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Open AccessReview
To Group or Not to Group? Good Practice for Housing Male Laboratory Mice
Animals 2017, 7(12), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7120088 - 24 Nov 2017
Cited by 16
Abstract
It is widely recommended to group-house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a [...] Read more.
It is widely recommended to group-house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive welfare. Rather, many male mice may be negatively affected by the stress of repeated social defeat and subordination, raising concerns about welfare and also research validity. However, individual housing may not be an appropriate solution, given the welfare implications associated with no social contact. An essential question is whether it is in the best welfare interests of male mice to be group- or singly housed. This review explores the likely impacts—positive and negative—of both housing conditions, presents results of a survey of current practice and awareness of mouse behavior, and includes recommendations for good practice and future research. We conclude that whether group- or single-housing is better (or less worse) in any situation is highly context-dependent according to several factors including strain, age, social position, life experiences, and housing and husbandry protocols. It is important to recognise this and evaluate what is preferable from animal welfare and ethical perspectives in each case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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