Behavioural fear and heart rate responses of horses after exposure to novel objects: Effects of habituation

The emotion fear promotes the fitness of wild animals. In a farm environment, exaggerated fear, e.g., in horses, can cause several problems. Therefore, knowledge about fear in horses helps to prevent or to handle potential fear-inducing situations. The present study investigated which behavioural fear responses can be observed during exposure of horses to a novel […]

Development of approach and handling tests for the assessment of reactivity to humans of sows housed in stall or in group

The aim of the present study was to develop reliable and easy-to-use tests for on-farm assessment of sow reactivity to human in different housing systems. A total of 123 gestating sows at different parities and stages of pregnancy were successively subjected to two tests according to their housing systems: an approach (AS) test and a […]

Effects of husbandry and management systems on physiology and behaviour of farmed and laboratory rabbits

The major issues regarding the welfare of both farmed and laboratory rabbits are reviewed, according to husbandry and management systems. The main stressors that can affect welfare and homeostatic responses in rabbits are also reviewed. An overview of the most widespread housing systems for both farmed and laboratory rabbits is presented. The main problems related […]

Behavioural and physiological differences between silver foxes selected and not selected for domestic behaviour

The degree of domestication of an animal is difficult to estimate because the animal’s phenotype depends not only on its genetic make-up but also on its experiences during ontogeny. In addition, comparisons between wild and domestic animals suffer from the lack of a proper reference population. In this study, we compared the offspring of silver […]

Behavioural and physiological responses of heifer calves to acute stressors: Long-term consistency and relationship with adult reactivity to milking

The present study investigated the long-term consistency of individual differences in dairy cattles’ responses in tests of behavioural and hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenocortical (HPA) axis reactivity, as well as the relationship between responsiveness in behavioural tests and the reaction to first milking. Two cohorts of heifer calves, Cohorts 1 (N = 25) and 2 (N = 16), respectively, […]