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 […]

The Physiological and Behavioral Impact of Sensory Contact Among Unfamiliar Adult Mice in the Laboratory

Housing mice in the laboratory in groups enables social interaction and is the way a laboratory should house mice. However, adult males show reciprocal aggression and are therefore frequently housed individually. Alternatively, a grid divider, which allows sensory contact by sight and smell but prevents fighting and injuries, can separate mice within 1 cage. This […]

Activity, oral behaviour and slaughter data as welfare indicators in veal calves: a comparison of three housing systems

A study was conducted to compare activity, oral behaviour and slaughter data of veal calves kept in three different housing systems: (1) individual housing (IH) where calves are kept in individual crates; (2) group housing (GH) where calves are kept in individual crates during the first 8 weeks and thereafter in groups of five to […]

Tail skin temperatures reflect coping styles in rats

This study was carried out to elucidate the predictive value of tail skin temperatures (TSTs) assessed in naïve rats as a non-invasive pre-experimental method of classification of coping style. Male Lewis rats were classified according to tail skin temperatures (TST), and relative size within cage-groups. TSTs were monitored over two-hour periods following exposure to physical […]

Separating a horse from the social group for riding or training purposes: a descriptive study of human-horse interactions

The aim of this study was to investigate how difficult it was to halter and separate a horse (Equus caballus) from a group for riding or training purposes and to describe how human-horse interactions could affect this common procedure. A total of 20 different horse groups, with a minimum of five horses in each, were […]

Getting around social status: Motivation and enrichment use of dominant and subordinate sows in a group setting

Gestating sow motivation for enriched environments is unknown, but is essential knowledge for developing housing that addresses animal welfare concerns. This study investigated whether the motivation of gestating sows for access to an enriched group pen (containing a rubber mat, straw, compost, and cotton ropes), and their behavior while in the pen, would differ due […]

Effects of repeated regrouping on horse behaviour and injuries

Domestic horses are faced with social challenges throughout their lives due to limitations in social contact, space restrictions and frequent changes in social companionship. This is in contrast to natural conditions where horses live in relatively stable harem bands. Currently, little is known about how repeated regrouping affect horse behaviour and welfare, and it is […]

Can sleep behaviour be used as an indicator of stress in group-housed rats (Rattus norvegicus)?

We assessed the value of sleep behaviour as a novel measure of stress in group-housed animals. We observed, non-invasively, sleep behaviour in 144 group-housed rats, and related it to other physiological and physical indicators of stress and welfare. Sleep frequency and duration correlated negatively with adrenal weight, and positively with bodyweight gain, and final bodyweight. […]

Group housing of farmed silver fox cubs

In the present study, the effects of social environment on the welfare of farmed silver fox cubs were clarified. After weaning, cubs from silver fox litters were housed (1) singly, (2) in litters until the end of September and thereafter singly, or (3) in litters throughout their growing season. Separating the cubs at the onset […]

The behavioural repertoire of non-breeding group-housed female laboratory rabbits (Oryctolagus Cuniculus)

Many studies on group-housing of laboratory rabbits to date have focused on management aspects and economic implications. Our aim here is to provide behavioural background information for future investigations focusing on behavioural and welfare aspects of group-housing. In the present study, we established the behavioural repertoire of female laboratory rabbits kept in single-sex groups in […]