Effect of density and relative aggressiveness on agonistic and affiliative interactions in a newly formed group of horses

Group housing provides horses with social contact, a lack of which is associated with health and behavior problems. Despite the benefits of group housing for horses, horse owners are concerned about aggression and resulting injuries. This study focused on agonistic and affiliative interactions in a focal group of (originally) 12 horses with short-term and longer […]

Social environment and agonistic interactions: strategies in a small social mammal

In group-living species, the development of agonistic interactions among conspecifics may be affected by socio-ecological factors, such as size and composition of social group, and availability of nests and food. We analysed the importance of size and composition of social groups on agonistic interactions among males in the Southern mountain cavy (Microcavia australis). We made […]

Effects of group stability on aggression, stress and injuries in breeding rabbits

On Swiss rabbit breeding farms, group-housed does are usually kept singly for 12 days around parturition to avoid pseudogravidity, double litters and deleterious fighting for nests. After this isolation phase there is usually an integration of new group members. Here we studied whether keeping the group composition stable would reduce agonistic interactions, stress levels and […]

Factors influencing the welfare of goats in small established groups during the separation and reintegration of individuals

As a goat’s separation from or reintegration into its group is likely to have an adverse effect on the welfare of both the separated goat and the remaining goats in the group, management procedures need to be carried out in a way that minimises their negative impact. In the present study, we tested the effects […]

Behavioural and physiological reactions of goats confronted with an unfamiliar group either when alone or with two peers

Abstract When introduced into a new herd, goats are confronted with unfamiliar animals. Their behavioural and physiological reactions during this confrontation are likely to differ depending on the presence or absence of familiar conspecifics (peers). To assess these reactions, we confronted 12 goats both alone and with two peers (confrontees) with established groups (n = […]