Don’t poke the bear: using tracking data to quantify behavioural syndromes in elusive wildlife

Animal personality traits and the emergence of behavioural syndromes, i.e. between-individual correlation of behaviours, are commonly quantified from behavioural observations in controlled environments. Subjecting large and elusive wildlife to controlled test situations is, however, rarely possible, suggesting that ecologists should exploit alternative measures of behaviours for quantifying differences between individuals. Our goal was to test […]

Short communication: Repeatability of measures of rectal temperature in dairy cows

Although taking body temperature by rectal thermometer is the method most commonly used to identify sick cows in the postpartum period, no data on the repeatability of this measure are available. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate variability of rectal temperatures in dairy cows considering different factors (intra- and interinvestigator repeatability, different […]

Personality predicts social dominance in female zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, in a feeding context

Although personality has been defined as a suite of correlated behaviours, most studies of animal personality actually consider correlations between a few traits. We examined the repeatability and correlational structure of five potential personality traits (activity, neophobia, exploratory tendencies, risk-taking behaviour and obstinacy), in female zebra finches. In addition, we assessed to what extent personality […]

Behavioural syndromes in Steller’s jays: the role of time frames in the assessment of behavioural traits

Behavioural syndromes describe consistent and correlated individual differences in behavioural traits. Quantifying individual differences often requires researchers to capture and hold animals in captivity while short-term behavioural assays are recorded. We compared behavioural responses of adult, territorial Steller’s jays in short- and long-term field assessments of behavioural traits in two ecological contexts, risk taking and […]

Sex differences, social context and personality in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata

Despite burgeoning interest in consistent individual differences in behaviour (animal [`]personality’), the influence of social interactions on the performance of different behavioural types is poorly understood. Similarly, the ecological and evolutionary consequences of personality differences in social contexts remain unexplored. Moreover, the possibility that the sexes differ in the degree to which they exhibit personality […]

Consistency of individual variation in feeding behaviour and its relationship with performance traits in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

Feed intake is commonly used as one of the most important performance indicators in fish. However, very little is known about the behavioural processes involved in ingesting food such as meal duration, feeding frequency and latency to start eating. This study aims at the characterization of feeding behaviour in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus in terms […]

Individualities in a flock of free-roaming greylag geese: Behavioral and physiological consistency over time and across situations

The concept of personality implies individual differences in behavior and physiology that show some degree of repeatability/consistency over time and across contexts. Most studies of animal personality, particularly studies of individuals’ variation in physiological mechanisms, have been conducted on selected individuals in controlled conditions. We attempted to detect consistent behaviors as well as physiological patterns […]

Repeatability of some animal-related variables in dairy cows and buffaloes

The aim of this study was to evaluate the intra-observer repeatability of some animal-related variables which could be used in welfare-assessment protocols at farm level. Recordings were performed on seven dairy farms (four for cattle and three for buffaloes). The animals were observed on three occasions at three-week intervals. The variables collected for each animal […]

Repeatability of a skin tent test for dehydration in working horses and donkeys

Dehydration is a serious welfare issue for equines working in developing countries. Risk factors such as high ambient temperature, heavy workload and poor water availability are exacerbated by the traditional belief that provision of water to working animals will reduce their strength or cause colic and muscle cramps. As part of the welfare assessment of […]

Development of on-farm methods to assess the animal-human relationship in laying hens kept in non-cage systems

The aim of this study was to develop a set of tests to assess the reaction of laying hens towards humans in non-cage systems and to investigate the repeatability within and between days. Based on a literature survey six tests were developed or modified, which were examined for practicability and adapted in a first phase. […]