Effects of rearing and housing environment on behaviour and performance of pigs with different coping characteristics

The availability of a rooting substrate may profoundly affect behaviour and welfare of pigs. Apart from their actual housing environment, also the conditions present in early life and individual characteristics may influence the behaviour of pigs. The present study investigated the relative importance of the housing environment during rearing and the actual housing environment on […]

Effects of sleep deprivation on immunological responses in animal models

Although sleep occupies one third of our lives and is a vital function in the maintenance of a healthy life, the number of people exposed to sleep deprivation (SD) is increasing in modern society. It is believed that sleep is essential in the recovery from illness, and that SD is detrimental to multiple physiological processes. […]

Response to environmental change in rainbow trout selected for divergent stress coping styles

An extensive literature has documented differences in the way individual animals cope with environmental challenges and stressors. Two broad patterns of individual variability in behavioural and physiological stress responses are described as the proactive and reactive stress coping styles. In addition to variability in the stress response, contrasting coping styles may encompass a general difference […]

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 […]

Signs of attenuated depression-like behavior in vasopressin deficient Brattleboro rats

Vasopressin, a peptide hormone functioning also as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator and regulator of the stress response is considered to be one of the factors related to the development and course of depression. In the present study, we have tested the hypothesis that congenital deficit of vasopressin in Brattleboro rats leads to attenuated depression-like behavior in […]

Behavioural development of pigs with different coping characteristics in barren and substrate-enriched housing conditions

Characterization of piglets based on the degree of resistance they display in a so-called Backtest is, to a certain extent, predictive of their coping responses to several challenges in later life. It is unknown, however, whether these individual coping characteristics of pigs are also reflected in their behavioural development in different environments. The present study […]

Evidence for the role of personality in stereotypy predisposition

It is often suggested that stereotypic behaviour represents a coping response to suboptimal environmental conditions. However, individuals of many species show different coping styles depending on their personality type. Therefore, personality is an important consideration when investigating why only certain individuals become stereotypic under suboptimal conditions. Thus, the aim of this review is to explore […]

The physiological consequences of crib-biting in horses in response to an ACTH challenge test

Stereotypies are repetitive and relatively invariant patterns of behavior, which are observed in a wide range of species in captivity. Stereotypic behavior occurs when environmental demands produce a physiological response that, if sustained for an extended period, exceeds the natural physiological regulatory capacity of the organism, particularly in situations that include unpredictability and uncontrollability. One […]

Behaviour of proactive and reactive tilapia Oreochromis niloticus in a T-maze

Knowing that individuals with different coping strategies can exhibit different behaviours in associative learning, we evaluated the learning capacity of proactive and reactive tilapia fish. Trained and untrained, proactive and reactive, tilapia were subjected to a T-maze and their behaviour observed while searching for food using landmarks. Forty-four tilapia were first divided into reactive and […]