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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #130179


item Lay, Jr, Donald - Don
item Wilson, Matt

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The physiological state of an animal is in constant flux, working to maintain itself within some pre-determined range under which the animal can function at an optimum performance. There are many challenges to the maintenance of this optimum state, such as temperature changes, social pressures, management procedures, over and under nourishment, injury, and disease. By their inherent nature, some management practices and procedures challenge the animal in such a way that its physiology is altered in order to maintain itself within its optimal range. Physiological alterations that excessively challenge the animal are detrimental to its welfare and productivity, and these alterations may create erroneous experimental data. Therefore, reliable assessment of the physiological state of an animal is imperative. Traditional physiological measurements have relied on quantifying alterations to homeostasis. Therefore, a great deal of research has concentrated on quantifying outward signs of failure of these systems, such as low growth rates, infertility, and an increased number of diseased animals. Scientists have done a good job of measuring all of these physiological alterations, unfortunately the underlying challenge that continues to confront scientists is how to define the degree of physiological change that translates into distress.