Behavioural effects of social mixing at different stocking densities in prepubertal lambs

The behavioural effects of mixing individuals from two different flocks were studied in prepubertal lambs of about 20kg body weight kept at either low (1 animal m−2) or high (3.3 animals m−2) stocking densities. At both densities, flock mates associated preferentially with one another over the three experimental days. The social mixing conditions decreased the […]

Positive attitudes of farmers and pen-group conservation reduce adverse reactions of bulls during transfer for slaughter

Transfer to slaughter may be very stressful for cattle and negatively affect their ultimate carcass pH. A potential link between farmers’ attitudes, farmers’ behaviour, responses of animals to handling and carcass pH in beef bull production was questioned. Whether carcass pH depends on experiences in handling and social mixing was analysed. We conducted a survey […]

Effect of on farm mixing and slaughter strategy on behaviour, welfare and productivity in Duroc finished entire male pigs

Animal welfare may be hampered due to a higher incidence of aggressive and sexual behaviours in entire males compared to castrated pigs. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mixing strategies on behaviour and physiological indicators of welfare and performance. Ninety-six entire male pigs were reared following either a wean to […]

Size does matter: The effect of enclosure size on aggression and affiliation between female New Zealand White rabbits during mixing

Social enrichment is increasingly employed to improve the welfare of laboratory animals, including rabbits. However, the high levels of injurious aggression that can occur when unfamiliar adult rabbits are introduced to one another are a barrier to implementing social housing. One factor that could affect aggressive interaction is the size of the enclosure in which […]

Hierarchy formation in newly mixed, group housed sows and management strategies aimed at reducing its impact

Aggression is at its highest when sows are first introduced to new animals and hierarchies are being established. Thus, methods to reduce aggression should focus on this period. The aggression that occurs during mixing results in physiological stress responses, which can have detrimental effects on sow welfare and reproductive parameters. In pigs, the short-term nature […]