Location: Livestock Behavior Research
2011 Annual Report
Objective 1: Develop scientific measures of, identify husbandry and environmental challenges to, and develop sustainable alternatives that safeguard well-being of swine. Objective 2: Develop scientific measures of, identify husbandry and environmental challenges to, and develop sustainable alternatives that safeguard well-being of dairy cattle. Objective 3: Develop scientific measures of, identify husbandry and environmental challenges to, and develop sustainable alternatives that safeguard well-being of poultry.
Sow Lameness Research. We have 4 replicates of swine on dietary treatments aimed to increase cartilage health, and thus far, we have collected all the data on the first 2 reps of animals with the other animals on target for completion. This is a 3 year study so results are not yet expected. Our work to decrease stomach ulcers in sows is also progressing as planned. We have conducted the laboratory studies and are moving to implement treatments on the farm.
Sow Ulcer Research. We have completed a study examining different dietary ingredients on behavior and gastric ulceration in gestating sows. We found little effect of our treatments, although gastric health tended to be best in sows fed a higher fiber diet. Further analysis is ongoing.
Heat Stress in Poultry and Cattle. We have completed two experiments on heat stress in poultry. Data analysis is partially complete. We have identified genetic variations in stress responses in the lines selected based on egg production and longevity; and that oxidative damage can be reduced by antioxidants in the feed. One manuscript has been submitted and two more are in preparation. We have also collected data for the heat stress study of dairy calves with both control and heat stress data collection complete. Behavior data is analyzed. The experiment is currently being replicated at the Purdue Dairy Teaching and Research Center. One manuscript is prepared to be submitted.
Sow Aggression. We have completed data collection on sow aggression from sows in pairs or groups. Data analysis is partially complete. We have identified differences that appear to be mostly driven by the number of sows that are mixed together and by the amount of space available at mixing. Data analysis is continuing.
Poultry Aggression. We have completed one experiment on aggression in poultry. We have collected all the samples and data analysis is partially completed. We have identified that aggression in chickens can be reduced or inhibited by modifying the serotonergic system during brain development in the early embryonic stage. One manuscript has been submitted.
Osteoporosis in White Leghorns. We have examined the effects of exercise, using perches, on bone mineralization in laying hens. All samples from the growing phase have been collected and data are being analyzed.
Development of a novel housing system to allow continuous behavioral and physiological monitoring. We have carried out two studies to compare pigs housed in isolation versus complex environments in which pigs' preferences for different objects including a mirror, a mat and the opportunity to see another pig. We identified that the companion pig was preferred over the other enrichments when no-one was in the room. However, when a human entered, the preferences changed and the mirror became as preferred as the companion, emphasizing the importance of context when assessing preferences experimentally. The second study examined the effects of environmental enrichment objects on behavior and physiology of isolated pigs in a laboratory setting. Data collection is complete and analysis is ongoing.
Dennis, R.L., Cheng, H. 2010. Effects of Beak Trimming on Pecking Force. International Journal of Poultry Science. 9(3):863-866.
Lay Jr, D.C., Kattesh, H.G., Cunnick, J.E., Daniels, M.J., Kranendonk, G., Mcmunn, K.A., Toscano, M.J., Roberts, M.P. 2011. Effect of prenatal stress on pig’s subsequent response to mixing stress and a lipopolysaccharide challenge. Journal of Animal Science. 89(6):1787-1794.
Poletto, R., Janczak, A.M., Marchant-Forde, R.M., Marchant Forde, J.N., Matthews, D.L., Dowell, C.A., Hogan, D.F., Freeman, L.J., Lay Jr, D.C. 2011. Identification of low and high frequency ranges for heart rate variability and blood pressure variability analyses using pharmacological autonomic blockade with atropine and propranolol in swine. Physiology and Behavior. 103(2):188-196.