Stress response, peripheral serotonin and natural antibodies in feather pecking genotypes and phenotypes and their relation with coping style

Feather pecking (FP), a serious welfare and economic issue in the egg production industry, has been related to coping style. Proactive and reactive coping styles differ in, among others, the stress response, serotonergic activity and immune activity. Yet, it is unknown whether genetic lines divergently selected on FP (i.e. FP genotypes) or individuals differing in […]

The development of fault bars in domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) increases with acute stressors and individual propensity: implications for animal welfare

Negative experiences during feather growth can result in fault bar formation. Fault bars are malformations perpendicular to the rachis of the feather caused by stressful experiences during feather growth. However, there are little data on the causal effect of psychological stress on the formation of fault bars in chickens. The objective of this study was […]

The effect of positive or negative handling on the behavioural and physiological responses of nonlactating heifers

This experiment investigated the effects of positive and negative tactile handling on the stress physiology and behaviour of dairy heifers. Forty-eight 5–14-month-old nonlactating Holstein–Friesian heifers were allocated to one of two handling treatments, either positive or negative tactile handling, over four time replicates. Handlingwas imposed twice daily, 2–5 min per session and involved moving animals […]

Physiological stress responses in the edible crab, Cancer pagurus, to the fishery practice of de-clawing

We examined physiological stress responses in the edible crab, Cancer pagurus, subjected to the commercial fishery practice of manual de-clawing. We measured haemolymph glucose and lactate, plus muscular glycogen and glycogen mobilisation, in three experiments where the crabs had one claw removed. In the first, crabs showed physiological stress responses when ‘de-clawed’ as compared to […]

Use of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite measures in conservation biology research: considerations for application and interpretation

Fecal glucocorticoid metabolite analyses are increasingly being used by a variety of scientists (e.g., conservation biologists, animal scientists) to examine glucocorticoid (i.e., stress hormone) secretion in domestic and wild vertebrates. Adrenocortical activity (i.e., stress response) is of interest to conservation biologists because stress can alter animal behavior, reduce resistance to disease, and affect population performance. […]

Stress revisited: A critical evaluation of the stress concept

With the steadily increasing number of publications in the field of stress research it has become evident that the conventional usage of the stress concept bears considerable problems. The use of the term ‘stress’ to conditions ranging from even the mildest challenging stimulation to severely aversive conditions, is in our view inappropriate. Review of the […]

Behavioural responses to hypoxia provide a non-invasive method for distinguishing between stress coping styles in fish

Two divergent behavioural and physiological response patterns to challenges have been identified in mammals and birds, frequently termed the proactive and reactive coping styles. In recent years, individually distinct coping styles have also been observed in several species of fish. These individual differences may result in suboptimal production and compromised welfare in aquaculture. An approach […]

Human interaction and cortisol: Can human contact reduce stress for shelter dogs?

Animal shelters are an extremely stressful environment for a dog, most specifically due to social isolation and novel surroundings. The stress response of dogs housed in this environment may be alleviated through human interaction shortly after arrival. During their second day in a public animal shelter, adult stray dogs were either engaged in a human […]

Fitness and behavioral correlates of pre-stress and stress-induced plasma cortisol titers in pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) upon arrival at spawning grounds

Semelparous Pacific salmon (Onchorynchus spp.) serve as an excellent model for examining the relationships between life history, behavior and individual variation in glucocorticoid (GC) stress hormone levels because reproductive behaviors are highly variable between individuals and failure to reproduce results in zero fitness. Pink salmon (O. gorbuscha) were intercepted upon arrival at the spawning grounds […]

Linear social dominance hierarchy and corticosterone responses in male mallards and pintails

In winter, dabbling ducks gather in large flocks and males compete not only for food resources but also for mates. Setting up a social hierarchy is one way to reduce the costs of conflicts, but the position in the hierarchy has implications for individuals, for instance their susceptibility to conflict and interference, hence to social […]