Selection against stereotypic behaviour may have contradictory consequences for the welfare of farm mink (Mustela vison)

The present study aimed to examine if divergent selection for stereotypic behaviour in mink influences the welfare of the animals. Two breeding lines were used, a high stereotyping line (HSL, N = 139) and a low stereotyping line (LSL, N = 132). Their welfare was assessed on the basis of adrenocortical activity (faecal cortisol metabolites, FCM), confident versus fearful […]

Feed barrier design affects behaviour and physiology in goats

Among other things, feed barrier design for goats can differ with regard to ease of leaving, backward view, and presence of physical separation. The aim of our study was to investigate whether the type of feed barrier influences agonistic behaviour and stress. The study involved 55 adult non-lactating female goats of several Swiss dairy breeds. […]

Time budgets and adrenocortical activity of cows milked in a robot or a milking parlour: interrelationships and influence of social rank

Adrenocortical activity and time budgets in a robotic milking system in two variants of cow traffic (partially forced, free) were compared with a conventional milking system, focusing on the relationships between adrenocortical activity, time budgets, and social rank of the cows. Both groups were housed in identical conditions and consisted of 30 cows each. Within […]

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 influence of gentle interactions on avoidance distance towards humans, weight gain and physiological parameters in group-housed dairy calves

The quality of the relationship between cattle and their caretakers is important for animal welfare and productivity. Nevertheless, the influence of gentle interactions on group-housed dairy calves has not been thoroughly studied so far. We examined the effects of 42 min of gentle interactions (stroking, gentle talking) during the first 14 days of life on […]