Effect of simple and low-cost enrichment items on behavioral, clinical, and productive variables of caged laying hens

Housing layers in battery cages is a practice still used by many countries but it has been criticized because of its influence on behavioral repertoire of birds. We investigated whether simple and affordable enrichment devices alone impact behavior, foot condition and performance of laying hens housed in conventional cages. Hens were divided into plain cages […]

The effect of different degrees of ‘positive’ human-animal interaction during rearing on the welfare and subsequent production of commercial dairy heifers

A 3-year study tested the hypotheses that brushing each heifer for 5 min per week in the weeks preceding calving (long term positive treatment: PT) while the heifers were unrestrained, is sufficient to improve subsequent parlour behaviour and production, and this could be influenced by the extent of the PT. Four intakes of commercial dairy heifers […]

Assessment of sheep welfare using on-farm registrations and performance data

Farm animal welfare is a societal concern, and the need exists for scientific protocols to assess welfare. This paper describes the development of a protocol to assess the welfare of sheep (Ovis aries) and its application in 36 farms in Norway. There were two parts to the protocol; the animal- and resource-based measurements obtained during […]

Breeding for better welfare: genetic goals for broiler chickens and their parents

Genetics is key to the improvement of welfare in broiler chickens at both juvenile and adult (breeder) stages but progress is hampered currently by the seemingly conflicting demands of welfare, commercial production, food security and calls for increasing intensification to curb climate change. Animal welfare is therefore most likely to be improved on a commercial […]

Relationships between pig welfare, productivity and farmer disposition

The aim of this study was, firstly, to investigate the connection between on-farm assessed welfare scores and production parameters for sows, and secondly, to examine how farmers perceive the connection between their disposition, animal welfare and productivity. We assessed environmental and management preconditions on animal welfare and interviewed farmers on 30 Finnish farms. We studied […]

Effect of genotype, housing system and hay supplementation on performance and ear lesions of growing rabbits

There is growing demand by consumers for meat produced in alternative systems. Since its market share is quite small, but is growing, it could be important to deal with this issue. The aim of the experiment was to examine the effects of genotype (terminal line or traditional giant breed), housing system (cage or pen) and […]

Mate choice, maternal investment and implications for ostrich welfare in a farming environment

At present, the ostrich industry is inefficient, on account of being characterised by inadequate egg production, high embryo mortality, poor chick survival and suboptimal growth rates. However, as ostrich farming commenced only in the mid 19th century in South Africa, farmed ostriches have had a short period to adapt to the commercial production environment. Hence […]