Extensive human presence and regular gentle handling improve growth, survival and immune competence in ostrich chicks

A total of 416 day-old ostrich chicks were randomly allocated to one of the three different husbandry practices for 3 months after hatch; HP1 (extensive human presence with gentle human voice, visual and gentle physical stimuli), HP2 (similar to HP1 but without physical stimuli) and S (human presence limited to supply of feed and water). […]

Animal Welfare as Preventative Medicine

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to both human and animal health, but reduction of use raises issues of how standards of animal health and welfare can be maintained without them. This turns the spotlight onto the role of good management and higher standards of animal welfare as drug-free ways of improving immune function and […]

Lambs prevented from suckling their mothers display behavioral, immune and endocrine disturbances

The aim of the experiment was to assess the effects of either maternal deprivation or prevented suckling on lambs. Thirty Comisana lambs were assigned to a control dam-suckled group (DS) and two test groups of 10 each. Test lambs were maintained with their mothers 24 to 30 h after parturition and subsequently offered ewe milk […]

The effects of regular visual contact with human beings on fear, stress, antibody and growth responses in broiler chickens

This study investigated the effects of regular visual contact at various ages on tonic immobility (TI) and heterophil/lymphocyte ratio (HLR) reactions to handling and crating, antibody production, growth performance, and feed conversion ratios in commercial broiler chicks. Broiler chicks were exposed to (1) visual contact with an experimenter for 10 min twice daily from 0 to […]

Early social isolation alters behavioral and physiological responses to an endotoxin challenge in piglets

Psychosocial stress in the form of maternal deprivation and social isolation during early postnatal life induces persistent alterations in behavioral and physiological mechanisms of adaptation. One consequence may be an increased susceptibility to diseases in later life. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate in domestic piglets the effects of a repeated […]

Prenatal origins of individual variation in behavior and immunity

The in utero environment plays a critical role in initiating the normal ontogeny of many physiological systems. As a consequence, disturbances during prenatal life can affect the baby’s maturational trajectory and sometimes cause chronic alterations that influence health postpartum. Our review summarizes a series of studies in rhesus monkeys supporting these conclusions. Psychological disturbance or […]

Ultraviolet Radiation on Innate Immunity and Growth of Broad-Snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris): Implications for Facilities Design

Sunlight is a key environmental factor in almost all ecosystems, and it is necessary for many physiological functions. Many vertebrates require ultraviolet (UV) radiation to perform different physiological processes. Artificial light is used to supplement UV in captive animals, through appropriate photoperiods and UV wavelengths. Previous studies reported that repeated exposure to artificial UV radiation […]

Immune responses to improving welfare

The relationship between animal welfare and the immune status of an animal has a complex nature. Indeed, the intuitive notion that “increased vigilance of the immune system is by definition better” because it is expected to better keep the animal healthy, does not hold up under scrutiny. This is mostly due to the fact that […]