Lameness in dairy cattle: A debilitating disease or a disease of debilitated cattle? A cross-sectional study of lameness prevalence and thickness of the digital cushion

Lameness is the most significant challenge for the dairy industry to overcome, given its obvious disruption of animal welfare and severe economic losses. Sole ulcers and white line abscesses are ubiquitous chronic diseases with the highest associated economic losses among all foot lesions. Their underlying causes are still not fully understood. An observational cross-sectional study […]

Invited review: Body condition score and its association with dairy cow productivity, health, and welfare

The body condition score (BCS) of a dairy cow is an assessment of the proportion of body fat that it possesses, and it is recognized by animal scientists and producers as being an important factor in dairy cattle management. The scale used to measure BCS differs between countries, but low values always reflect emaciation and […]

Motivation to obtain a food reward of pregnant ewes in negative energy balance: Behavioural, metabolic and endocrine considerations

Low food availability often coincides with pregnancy in grazing animals. This study investigated how chronic reductions in food intake affected feeding motivation, and metabolic and endocrine parameters in pregnant sheep, which might be indicative of compromised welfare. Ewes with an initial Body Condition Score of 2.7 ± 0.3 (BCS; 0 indicates emaciation and 5 obesity) […]

Head partitions at the feed barrier affect behaviour of goats

Space allowance at the feeding places often forces goats to feed in close proximity, that is, less than their individual distances. In consequence, agonistic behaviour may increase as well as stress and injuries, while access to feed may decrease, especially in low-ranking goats. Partitions between single feeding places may reduce individual distances and may enhance […]

The reliability of welfare assessment according to the WelFur-protocol in the nursing period of mink (Neovison vison) is challenged by increasing welfare problems prior to weaning

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the body condition of the mink dam, the frequency of dirty nests, frequency of injuries and diarrhoea change significantly with the day of assessment, post-partum, within the data collection period from parturition to weaning, influencing the scores of WelFur at criteria level, but not […]

Creation and validation of a novel body condition scoring method for the magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) in the zoo setting

This research aims to validate a novel, visual body scoring system created for the Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) suitable for the zoo practitioner. Magellanics go through marked seasonal fluctuations in body mass gains and losses. A standardized multi-variable visual body condition guide may provide a more sensitive and objective assessment tool compared to the previously […]