Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

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Review of sensor technologies in animal breeding: Phenotyping behaviors of laying hens to select against feather pecking
Ellen, Esther D. ; Sluis, Malou Van Der; Siegford, Janice ; Guzhva, Oleksiy ; Toscano, Michael J. ; Bennewitz, Jörn ; Zande, Lisette E. Van Der; Eijk, Jerine A.J. Van Der; Haas, Elske N. de; Norton, Tomas ; Piette, Deborah ; Tetens, Jens ; Klerk, Britt de; Visser, Bram ; Bas Rodenburg, T. - \ 2019
Animals 9 (2019)3. - ISSN 2076-2615
-omics - Computer vision - Damaging behavior - Genetic selection - Identification - Measuring behavior - Radio frequency identification - Ultra-wideband

Damaging behaviors, like feather pecking (FP), have large economic and welfare consequences in the commercial laying hen industry. Selective breeding can be used to obtain animals that are less likely to perform damaging behavior on their pen-mates. However, with the growing tendency to keep birds in large groups, identifying specific birds that are performing or receiving FP is difficult. With current developments in sensor technologies, it may now be possible to identify laying hens in large groups that show less FP behavior and select them for breeding. We propose using a combination of sensor technology and genomic methods to identify feather peckers and victims in groups. In this review, we will describe the use of “-omics” approaches to understand FP and give an overview of sensor technologies that can be used for animal monitoring, such as ultra-wideband, radio frequency identification, and computer vision. We will then discuss the identification of indicator traits from both sensor technologies and genomics approaches that can be used to select animals for breeding against damaging behavior.

The GroupHouseNet COST Action: exploiting European synergy to reduce feather pecking in laying hens
Rodenburg, T.B. ; Berk, J. ; Dimitrov, I. ; Edgar, J. ; Eijk, J.A.J. van der; Estevez, I. ; Ferrante, V. ; Haas, E.N. de; Kostal, L. ; Liaubet, L. ; Michel, V. ; Nordgreen, J. ; Ozkan, S. ; Pietta, D. ; Pichova, K. ; Riber, Anja B. ; Sossidou, E. ; Toscano, M.J. ; Valros, A. ; Zupan, M. ; Janczak, A.M. - \ 2017
In: Xth European Symposium on Poultry Welfare, 19-22 June 2017, Ploufragan - France. - World's Poultry Science Association (WPSA) - p. 41 - 46.
broiler breeders - nesting behaviour - genetics - nest design - housing - climate - feather pecking - prenatal effects - health - damaging behaviour - sensor technology
Broilers have been selected for growth related characteristics, which are negatively correlated to reproductive traits. This genetic background creates challenges in broiler breeders, as the hens do not make optimal use of the nests provided. This project aims to investigate what factors determine nesting behaviour, i.e. where a broiler breeder hen prefers to lay her eggs. Factors such as genetic background, social interactions, physical characteristics of the nest and climate might interfere with the natural nesting behaviour of the hen. Also fundamental trade-offs between different motivations, such as hunger, comfort and safety, might influence nesting behaviour. Behaviour and use of space will be measured in experimental set-ups in order to gain insight in the importance of different system components. This knowledge will be used to optimise housing conditions and develop strategies that stimulate the hen to lay her egg in the nest. The performance of this improved system will be tested in field experiments to investigate the transferability of results from experimental to field conditions.
Causes of keel bone damage and their solutions in laying hens
Harlander-Matauschek, A. ; Rodenburg, T.B. ; Sandilands, V. ; Tobalske, B.W. ; Toscano, M.J. - \ 2015
Worlds Poultry Science Journal 71 (2015)3. - ISSN 0043-9339 - p. 461 - 472.
bone - damage - fracture - keel - laying hen - welfare

Keel bone damage (KBD) is a critical issue facing the contemporary laying hen industry due to the likely pain leading to compromised welfare and reduced productivity. Recent reports suggest that KBD, while highly variable and likely dependent on a host of factors, extends to all housing systems (including traditional battery cages, furnished cages and non-cage systems), genetic lines, and management styles. Despite the extent of the problem, the research community remains uncertain as to the causes and influencing factors of KBD. To combat these issues, the current review was produced following discussions from the 1st International Keel Bone Damage Workshop held in Switzerland in April 2014. This exercise sought to assess current knowledge, foster novel collaborations, propose unique methodologies and highlight the key areas where innovative research is needed. The following paper is based on the content of those discussions and presents nine recommendations for future research efforts.

Effects of mixed housing of birds from two genetic lines of laying hens on open field and manual restraint responses
Uitdehaag, K.A. ; Rodenburg, T.B. ; Hierden, Y.M. van; Bolhuis, J.E. ; Toscano, M.J. ; Nicol, C.J. ; Komen, J. - \ 2008
Behavioural Processes 79 (2008)1. - ISSN 0376-6357 - p. 13 - 18.
japanese-quail chicks - domestic chicks - feather pecking - tonic immobility - adrenocortical-response - thyroid-hormones - beta-carboline - social stress - behavior - fear
Birds from Rhode Island Red (RIR) origin show a lower fear response and less feather pecking than birds from White Leghorn (WL) origin. This study investigated whether responses in fear eliciting tests were affected if RIR and WL birds were housed together. Experimental groups contained either birds from one line only ('pure' groups) or an equal number of RIR and WIL birds ('mixed' groups). These arrangements were maintained from hatch onwards, throughout the rearing and laying period. Birds were subjected to open held tests at 5-6 weeks and 17-18 weeks of age and to manual restraint tests at 7-8 weeks and 24 weeks of age. RIR birds were more active in both open field tests and in the manual restraint test at 24 weeks of age as compared with WL birds. RIR birds from pure groups were more active in the open field test at 17-18 weeks and in the manual restraint test at 24 weeks of age than RIR birds from mixed groups. These results suggest that otherwise low fearful RIR birds may adopt a higher fear response if they are housed together with more fearful conspecifics. These effects do not emerge until after 8 weeks of age. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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