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.

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    Van toilet naar rivier: de weg van farmaceutische afvalstoffen door de riolering naar watersystemen
    Bergen, Tamara van; Zillien, Caterina ; Schuijt, L.M. - \ 2020
    H2O online (2020). - p. 1 - 8.
    In deze studie wordt een kader gepresenteerd om een systeembenadering van microverontreinigingen te beschrijven in drie stappen: gebruik van chemicaliën (SUSPECt), rioolwaterzuivering (CER-CEC) en milieurisico’s en -effecten (EMERCHE). Deze drie stappen zijn toegepast op een casestudy van fluoxetine in Nijmegen. Er zijn nauwkeurigere milieurisicovoorspellingen mogelijk door het verbeteren van modellen om emissies te schatten op basis van het gebruik van chemicaliën, het verbeteren van RWZI-modellen en het implementeren van effectmetingen met bioassays in de risicoanalyse. Op deze manier leidt een systeemanalyse van de gehele watercyclus tot handvatten en een proactieve methode om microverontreinigingen in het milieu te verminderen.
    Bayesian neural networks with variable selection for prediction of genotypic values
    Bergen, Giel H.H. van; Duenk, Pascal ; Albers, Cornelis A. ; Bijma, Piter ; Calus, Mario P.L. ; Wientjes, Yvonne C.J. ; Kappen, Hilbert J. - \ 2020
    Genetics, Selection, Evolution 52 (2020)1. - ISSN 0999-193X - 1 p.

    BACKGROUND: Estimating the genetic component of a complex phenotype is a complicated problem, mainly because there are many allele effects to estimate from a limited number of phenotypes. In spite of this difficulty, linear methods with variable selection have been able to give good predictions of additive effects of individuals. However, prediction of non-additive genetic effects is challenging with the usual prediction methods. In machine learning, non-additive relations between inputs can be modeled with neural networks. We developed a novel method (NetSparse) that uses Bayesian neural networks with variable selection for the prediction of genotypic values of individuals, including non-additive genetic effects. RESULTS: We simulated several populations with different phenotypic models and compared NetSparse to genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP), BayesB, their dominance variants, and an additive by additive method. We found that when the number of QTL was relatively small (10 or 100), NetSparse had 2 to 28 percentage points higher accuracy than the reference methods. For scenarios that included dominance or epistatic effects, NetSparse had 0.0 to 3.9 percentage points higher accuracy for predicting phenotypes than the reference methods, except in scenarios with extreme overdominance, for which reference methods that explicitly model dominance had 6 percentage points higher accuracy than NetSparse. CONCLUSIONS: Bayesian neural networks with variable selection are promising for prediction of the genetic component of complex traits in animal breeding, and their performance is robust across different genetic models. However, their large computational costs can hinder their use in practice.

    Exploring the effects of a healthy school lunch on cognitive performance in Dutch primary school children within the Healthy School Lunch project
    Dijkstra, Coosje ; Haar, Sandra van der; Bergen, Geertje van; Kleef, Ellen van; Vingerhoeds, Monique - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research report 2041) - ISBN 9789463953832 - 17
    The ‘Healthy School Lunch’ project (PPS Een gezonde schoollunch - TKI AF-16098) aimed to study the feasibility and impact of offering a healthy school lunch in Dutch primary schools. In the first phase of the project we studied the support for a healthy school lunch among a wide range of stakeholders and we explored what they thought a healthy school lunch should look like. The next phase aimed to study the effects of a healthy school lunch on dietary intake and cognitive performance. In order to investigate the effects of providing a healthy school lunch on the dietary intake of children during lunch, a longitudinal intervention study with three schools was designed, where a healthy school lunch was offered for six months. Due to various financial and methodological reasons that were not fully considered when starting this project, it was not possible to combine the dietary intake and cognition study in the school lunch intervention. Instead, we explored the possibilities and requirements to perform a solid experimental cross-over study on the effects of a healthy school lunch on cognitive performance within the Healthy School Lunch Project. This process is described in the current report. We started with a review of the literature on the effects of a healthy school lunch on cognitive performance of children. Studies on the immediate and transient effects of a healthy school lunch versus skipping lunch showed, on a variety of cognitive measures, small and inconsistent effects on alertness and working memory of children. Studies on the long-term effects of a healthy school lunch versus habitual lunch showed small improvements in concentration and language processing ability of children. Given the restriction that long term effects of a school lunch on cognitive performance could not be examined within the scope of this project, the focus shifted to understanding immediate effects. A well-designed study to capture immediate effects of a healthy school lunch on cognitive performance of children within our project would require a strictly controlled cross-over design in a school setting. The intervention should consist of an ad libitum buffet-style healthy school lunch, compared with a control condition in which children eat ad libitum from a provided lunch comparable to the common relatively unhealthy packed school lunch of Dutch children. Finding an adequate measure for cognitive performance is hampered by the great variation of previously used measures across studies. These ranged from relatively indirect measures of concentration and disengagement to standardized computerized tests assessing specific cognitive domains such as alertness and higher-level executive functions. Hence, a comprehensive battery of tests would be advisable to explore various potential effects. Power calculations would be needed to determine the sample size of such a study, but it is clear that large numbers of children would be needed, given the small expected effects and methodological challenges. As more than one participating school would be needed, multilevel statistical models would be required to handle grouped and individual children’s data. More research on the effects of a healthy school lunch on cognition in primary school children would be very useful. However, a well-designed study that would provide convincing evidence of the effects of a healthy school lunch on cognitive performance in primary school children, would require a high cost set-up that places a very high burden on both the children and the schools. Therefore, we decided that it is not realistic to perform this study within the Healthy School Lunch project. In this report we would like to share our findings, considerations and recommendations to researchers of future studies on the effect of healthy school lunches on cognitive performance in children.
    Drivers, barriers and interventions for food waste behaviour change: a food system approach
    Zeinstra, Gertrude ; Haar, Sandra van der; Bergen, Geertje van - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Report / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 2011) - ISBN 9789463952774 - 32
    Sustainable aquaculture
    Wiegertjes, Geert - \ 2019
    sustainable aquaculture - aquafood systems - circular aquaculture
    We need to change what we consume, what we produce and how we produce. Life on earth demands a sustainable use of our planet’s resources. In a world where demands for seafood are rising rapidly, many of our current aqua-food systems need transformation towards a circular aquaculture.
    Using faecal glucocorticoid metabolites as a method for assessing physiological stress in reindeer
    Meisfjord Jørgensen, Grete Helen ; Eilertsen, Svein Morten ; Hansen, Inger ; Hagen, Snorre B. ; Fløystad, Ida ; Palme, Rupert ; Ozkan-Gulzari, Seyda - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the ISAE. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 332 - 332.
    Role of animal behaviour in addressing future challenges for animal production.
    Boyle, L. ; Gauly, M. ; Spoolder, H.A.M. - \ 2019
    In: ISAE 2019 Proceedings of the annual meeting of the International Society for Applied Ethology. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 280 - 280.
    Effect of cow-calf contact on motivation of dairy cows to access their calf
    Wenker, M.L. ; Keyserlingk, M.A.G. von; Bokkers, Eddie ; Lecorps, Benjamin ; Reenen, C.G. van; Verwer, Cynthia ; Weary, D.M. - \ 2019
    In: Animal lives worth living. - Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 259 - 259.
    Behaviour and sociability of yaks among different regions in Bhutan
    Dorji, Nedup ; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G. ; Derks, M. ; Bokkers, Eddie - \ 2019
    In: Animal lives worth living. - Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 265 - 265.
    Postnatal effects of colostrum quality and management, and hygiene practises, on immunity and mortality in Irish dairy calves
    Barry, John ; Bokkers, Eddie ; Berry, Donagh P. ; Boer, Imke de; McClure, Jennifer ; Kennedy, Emer - \ 2019
    In: Animal lives worth living. - Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 90 - 90.
    Do grazing management practices influence the behaviour of dairy cows at pasture?
    Crossley, Robin E. ; Kennedy, Emer ; Boer, Imke J.M. de; Bokkers, Eddie A.M. ; Conneely, Muireann - \ 2019
    In: Animal lives worth living. - Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 111 - 111.
    Early life microbiota transplantation affects behaviour and peripheral serotonin in feather pecking selection lines
    Eijk, J.A.J. van der; Naguib, M. ; Kemp, B. ; Lammers, A. ; Rodenburg, T.B. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). - Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 98 - 98.
    Early life environmental factors have a profound impact on an animal’s behavioural andphysiological development. In animal husbandry, early life factors that interfere with thebehavioural and physiological development could lead to the development of damagingbehaviours. The gut microbiota could be such a factor as it influences behaviour, such as stressand anxiety, and physiology, such as the serotonergic system. Stress sensitivity, fearfulness andserotonergic system functioning are related to feather pecking (FP), a damaging behaviourin chickens which involves pecking and pulling out feathers of conspecifics. Furthermore,high (HFP) and low FP (LFP) lines differ in gut microbiota composition. Yet, it is unknownwhether gut microbiota affects FP or behavioural and physiological characteristics related toFP. Therefore, HFP and LFP chicks orally received 100μL of a control, HFP or LFP microbiotatreatment within 6 hrs post hatch and daily until 2 weeks of age (n=96 per group) using apipette. FP behaviour was observed via direct observations at pen-level between 0-5, 9-10 and14-15 weeks of age. Birds were further tested in a novel object test at 3 days and 5 weeks of age,a novel environment test at 1 week of age, an open field test at 13 weeks of age and a manualrestraint test at 15 weeks of age after which whole blood was collected for serotonin analysis. Weanalysed treatment effects within lines using mixed models with treatment, batch, sex, observerand test time as fixed factors and pen within treatment as random factor or Kruskal-Wallistests. Early life microbiota transplantation influenced behavioural responses and peripheralserotonin, but did not affect FP. HFP receiving HFP microbiota tended to approach a novelobject sooner and more birds tended to approach than HFP receiving LFP microbiota at3 days of age (P<0.1). HFP receiving HFP microbiota tended to vocalise sooner comparedto HFP receiving control (P<0.1) in a novel environment. LFP receiving LFP microbiotastepped and vocalised sooner compared to LFP receiving control (P<0.05) in an open field.Similarly, LFP receiving LFP microbiota tended to vocalise sooner during manual restraintthan LFP receiving control or HFP microbiota (P<0.1). LFP receiving HFP microbiota tendedto have lower serotonin levels compared to LFP receiving control (P<0.1). Thus, early lifemicrobiota transplantation had short-term effects (during treatment) in HFP birds and longtermeffects (after treatment) in LFP birds. Previously, HFP birds had more active responsesand lower serotonin levels compared to LFP birds. Thus, in this study HFP birds seemed toadopt behavioural characteristics of donor birds, while LFP birds seemed to adopt physiologicalcharacteristics (i.e. serotonin level) of donor birds. Interestingly, homologous microbiotatransplantation resulted in more active responses, suggesting reduced fearfulness.
    Foraging in the farrowing room to stimulate feeding behaviour
    Middelkoop, Anouschka ; Kemp, B. ; Bolhuis, J.E. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). - Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 119 - 119.
    Timely intake of solid feed is essential to ease the nutritional change from sow’s milk to feed atweaning and thereby to reduce weaning stress. A significant percentage of piglets, however, donot or hardly consume feed until weaning. Reducing sensory-specific satiety and stimulatingexploratory behaviour towards the feed(er) may enhance pre-weaning feed intake. We thereforestudied the effect of feed variety, feed presentation and their interaction on feed exploration,eating behaviour and growth of suckling piglets. Feed was provided ad libitum from d4 in twofeeders (four feeding spaces each) per pen. In a 2×2 arrangement, piglets received either onefeed item (creep feed) as a monotonous diet (MO) or received four feed items simultaneously(creep feed, celery, peanuts in shell and cereal honey loops) as a diverse diet (DV) and the feedwas either presented without substrate (CON) or hidden in sand (SUB) in one of two feedersto stimulate foraging behaviour. Feed exploration and eating was observed live at d11, 18 and27 using 2-min instantaneous scan sampling for 6 h/d. To study presentation preferenceswithin SUB, it was noted at which feeder piglets were exploring/eating. Observations werealso used to determine ‘eaters’ i.e. piglets scored eating at least once. Piglets were weighed atd4, 26 and 28 (at weaning). Data were analysed in mixed models with a random pen effect.No interactions between feed variety and feed presentation were found. SUB-piglets tendedto spent more time on exploration in the feeder at d11 (0.5 vs 0.3% of time) and tended toeat more often at d18 than CON-piglets (4.2 vs 3.2% of time; P<0.10). Within SUB, pigletspreferred to visit the feeder with sand to explore, as they spent at least two times more onexploration, but not eating, in this feeder at all observation days (P<0.05) versus the feederwithout sand. DV-piglets spent at least two and a half times more time on feed explorationand eating than MO-piglets throughout lactation (P<0.0009 at all observation days). Eatingthe common creep feed, however, was seen two times more in MO than in DV-piglets at d18(P<0.01) and d27 (P<0.05). DV enhanced the percentage of eaters/litter (d11: 71%, d18: 95%,d27: 99%) at all observation days (P<0.05) compared to MO (d11: 45%, d18: 71%, d27: 81%).DV-piglets also tended to grow faster in the last two days prior to weaning compared to MOpiglets(28 g/d, P<0.10). In conclusion, a diverse feeding regime for suckling piglets stimulatedfeed exploration, eating and the % of eaters from an early age onwards, and enhanced theirgrowth towards weaning. Feed presentation in a foraging-stimulating context only subtlystimulated exploratory behaviour and eating. As such, the data suggests that dietary diversityis a promising feeding strategy in getting piglets to eat during lactation and may thereforebenefit welfare and performance around weaning, while provision of substrate in the feederstimulates natural foraging behaviour.
    Effect of early life and current environmental enrichment and personality on attention bias in pigs
    Luo, Lu ; Reimert, I. ; Haas, E.N. de; Kemp, B. ; Bolhuis, J.E. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). - Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 128 - 128.
    Animals may show increased attention towards threatening stimuli when they are in a negativeaffective state, i.e. attention bias. A barren, stimulus-poor housing environment can inducestress and potentially a negative mood in pigs. Apart from current housing conditions, however,also the early life environment and personality characteristics might influence affective state.In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of early life and current housing conditionsand personality (coping style) on attention bias in pigs. Pigs (n=128, 32 pens) housed inbarren or enriched housing in early life (B1 vs E1), experienced either a switch in housingconditions at 7 wks of age or not (creating B1B2, B1E2, E1E2 and E1B2 treatments). Theywere classified using a backtest as ‘high resister’ (HR, proactive coping style) or ‘low resister’(LR, reactive coping style) at 2 wks. Pigs were subjected to a 3-min attention bias test at 11wks of age. Half of the pigs were exposed to a 10-sec potential threat (T) and the other halfnot (C) in a test room with food in the centre. Attention towards the (location of the) threat,vigilance, eating and vocalisations were recorded. Firstly, behaviours of T and C pigs over thetest were compared. Secondly, for T pigs, effects of early life and current housing, coping styleand their interactions on behaviour during and for 150 sec after the threat were tested. Mixedmodels with random pen effects were used, except for squealing for which a Fisher’s exact testwas used. T pigs spent more time on vigilance behaviour (T: 13.6±1.4, C: 6.8±1.0%, P<0.001),less time on eating (T: 15.0±1.8, C: 27.8±2.4%, P<0.001), were more likely to squeal (T: 22%C: 6% of pigs, P<0.05) than C pigs, and paid more attention to the location of the threat (T:7.1±0.6, C: 0.5±0.1% of time, P<0.001) throughout the 3-min test, indicating that pigs didrespond to the threat. During presence of the threat, HR pigs showed more vigilance (P<0.05),particularly in E2 housing (E2-HR: 39.9±6.6, E2-LR: 6.7±2.9, B2-HR: 19.4±5.9, and B2-LR:12.1±4.4%, interaction P<0.05). E1-HR pigs (55.4±6.5%) tended to pay more attention to thethreat than E1-LR pigs (30.3±5.9%), with levels of B1-HR (46.4±6.8%) and B1-LR (48.3±7.6%)in between (interaction P<0.10). After presence of the threat, no effects of housing or copingstyle on vigilance, attention to location of the threat or eating were found. E2 pigs grunted moreoften than B2 pigs (9.6±1.7 vs 3.6±0.9 per min, P<0.01). E2 pigs were also more likely to squealthan B2 pigs (P<0.05), particularly the HR pigs (E2-HR: 50%, B2-HR: 0%, E2-LR: 21%, B2-LR:17%, interaction P<0.10). In conclusion, housing affected vigilance in a personality-dependentmanner during a short period of exposure to a potential threat. We found no strong effect ofearly life or current housing on attention bias after the threat, but current housing conditionsand personality did affect vocalisations.
    Automated tracking of individual activity of broiler chickens
    Sluis, M. van der; Klerk, B. de; Rodenburg, T.B. ; Haas, Y. de; Hijink, Thijme ; Ellen, E.D. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). - Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 288 - 288.
    There is a growing interest in quantifying individual behaviour of group-housed animalsand its relation to individual performance. Broiler chickens are an example of a livestockspecies for which individual data can be valuable. Broiler breeding goals focus on efficientgrowth and reproduction, as well as welfare indicators for balanced genetic improvements.Recording of broiler behaviour can provide insight into welfare indicators, such as activity orgeneral leg health. However, monitoring individual behaviour in group-housed animals is achallenge. Often, video analyses are used, but these are time-consuming and prone to humanerror. Therefore, automated systems for monitoring individual animals are desired. Here, westudied whether individual broiler activity could be tracked using an ultra-wideband (UWB)system. Birds were fitted with UWB tags that sent out signals to four beacons. The location ofthe birds was determined using triangulation of the signal, allowing calculation of distancesmoved over time. Distances moved according to the UWB system were compared to thosefound on video for twelve birds. A moderately strong correlation between the UWB systemand video tracking was found (Repeated measures correlation, r=0.71 (95%-CI: 0.64-0.77),df=209, P<0.001). Furthermore, the UWB system was used for assessing individual levels ofactivity. In total, 137 birds from different genetic crosses were tracked near-continuously forseventeen consecutive days, starting on day 16 of life, and their weight was determined at thestart and end of this 17 d period. Data were analysed using an LME-model in R. First analysesshowed that activity, measured as the average distance moved, decreased over the seventeendays in all genetic crosses (F(1,127.00)=301.47, P<0.001). Furthermore, in all genetic crosses,birds with a lower weight at the start of the trial were on average more active (F(1,125.14)=9.16,P<0.01). Overall, the UWB system appears well-suited for activity monitoring in broilers andthe longitudinal information on individual differences in activity can potentially be used tomonitor health, welfare and performance at the individual level. Unfortunately, the UWBtags are too large and heavy for day-old chicks to wear and can only be implemented later inlife. Therefore, current work is focussing on the implementation of a passive radio frequencyidentification (RFID) system to track individual broiler activity, using smaller, lightweight tagsthat can be attached to the broilers’ legs at day-old. This system may be able to track individualactivity of broiler chickens throughout the entire life.
    Relative preference for wooden nests affects nesting behaviour in broiler breeders
    Oever, Anne van den; Rodenburg, T.B. ; Bolhuis, J.E. ; Ven, L.F.J. van de; Kemp, B. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). - Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 310 - 310.
    Optimising nest design for broiler breeders has benefits for both the animals and producer.The welfare of the hens will increase by providing preferred housing, while also reducing eggslaid outside the nests. These floor eggs cause economic losses by compromised automaticegg collection and reduced saleability and hatchability. Attractiveness of nests can involvefactors as seclusion, material and nest climate. In this study, four nest box designs are offeredin a relative preference test: a plastic control nest, a plastic nest with a partition to divide thenest in two areas, a plastic nest with a ventilator underneath to create air flow inside the nestand a wooden nest. Six groups of 100 hens and 9 roosters had access to these four nests in arandomised location during the ages of 20 to 34 weeks. Nest and floor eggs were collected fivedays a week. Camera images from inside the nests made during the ages 25-26 wk and 27-28wk were analysed on behaviour. This included general activity, nest inspections, nest visitsand social interactions. At 32 wk of age the wooden nests were closed, and the subsequentresponse of the hens was monitored in terms of number of eggs. We found a clear preferencefor the wooden nest in number of eggs (69.3±1.0%) compared to the control nest (15.1±0.8%),partition nest (10.2±0.5%) and the ventilator nest (5.4±0.4%; P<0.0001). This preference wasalso reflected in increased time spent sitting, together with fewer nest inspections and visitsper egg laid in the nest. The preference for the wooden nest led to crowding, which caused anincreased amount of piling, nest displacement, aggression and head shaking. After the woodennests were closed, the hens still had preference for nest design, although this was stronglyinfluenced by the location of the nest. We conclude that the broiler breeder hens in this studyhad a strong preference for the wooden nests and the fact that they were willing to accept thecrowded circumstances in these nests, shows the strength of this preference. When deniedaccess to their preferred nest, the hens chose a new nesting location based on nest designdepending on proximity to their original nesting location. This study shows how the materialused for nests is an important factor in suitability and should therefore be taken into accountwhen designing nests. In future experiments we will investigate gregariousness nesting furtherin addition to studying the influence of genetics and mobility on nesting behaviour.
    Reduce damaging behaviour in laying hens and pigs by developing sensor technologies to inform breeding programs
    Rodenburg, T.B. ; Zande, Lisette van der; Haas, E.N. de; Kostal, L. ; Pichova, Katarina ; Piette, Deborah ; Tetens, Jens ; Visser, Bram ; Klerk, Britt de; Sluis, M. van der; Bennewitz, Jörn ; Siegford, Janice ; Norton, Tomas ; Guzhva, Oleksiy ; Ellen, E.D. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). - Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863389 - p. 364 - 364.
    The COST Action GroupHouseNet aims to facilitate the prevention of damaging behaviourin group-housed pigs and laying hens. One area of focus is on how genetic and genomictools can be used to breed for animals that are less likely to develop damaging behaviour.The behaviours we are focusing on are feather pecking in laying hens and tail biting in pigs.Both species are kept in groups, and identifying actual performers of this behaviour (peckersand biters), and tracking them at the individual level remains challenging, but is essential forbreeding programs. It is possible to use traditional behavioural observation, but this is timeconsumingand costly. Sensor technology is a rapidly developing field and may offer solutionsfor phenotyping animals at the individual level. We propose that sensor technology combinedwith genomic methods may be useful in solving the problems of damaging behaviour in grouphousedpigs and laying hens. When evaluating the sensor technologies used until now, forlaying hens RFID and accelerometer-based approaches seem most promising. In pigs, computervision is already used to record technical performance, and there seems to be potential forexpanding this approach to the recording of damaging behaviour. If sensor signatures andgenomic fingerprints of individual animals can be combined, this would significantly improveour possibilities to reduce damaging behaviour through genetic selection.
    Foraging in the farrowing room to stimulate feeding behaviour
    Middelkoop, Anouschka ; Kemp, B. ; Bolhuis, J.E. - \ 2019
    Timely intake of solid feed is essential to ease the nutritional change from sow’s milk to feed atweaning and thereby to reduce weaning stress. A significant percentage of piglets, however, donot or hardly consume feed until weaning. Reducing sensory-specific satiety and stimulatingexploratory behaviour towards the feed(er) may enhance pre-weaning feed intake. We thereforestudied the effect of feed variety, feed presentation and their interaction on feed exploration,eating behaviour and growth of suckling piglets. Feed was provided ad libitum from d4 in twofeeders (four feeding spaces each) per pen. In a 2×2 arrangement, piglets received either onefeed item (creep feed) as a monotonous diet (MO) or received four feed items simultaneously(creep feed, celery, peanuts in shell and cereal honey loops) as a diverse diet (DV) and the feedwas either presented without substrate (CON) or hidden in sand (SUB) in one of two feedersto stimulate foraging behaviour. Feed exploration and eating was observed live at d11, 18 and27 using 2-min instantaneous scan sampling for 6 h/d. To study presentation preferenceswithin SUB, it was noted at which feeder piglets were exploring/eating. Observations werealso used to determine ‘eaters’ i.e. piglets scored eating at least once. Piglets were weighed atd4, 26 and 28 (at weaning). Data were analysed in mixed models with a random pen effect.No interactions between feed variety and feed presentation were found. SUB-piglets tendedto spent more time on exploration in the feeder at d11 (0.5 vs 0.3% of time) and tended toeat more often at d18 than CON-piglets (4.2 vs 3.2% of time; P<0.10). Within SUB, pigletspreferred to visit the feeder with sand to explore, as they spent at least two times more onexploration, but not eating, in this feeder at all observation days (P<0.05) versus the feederwithout sand. DV-piglets spent at least two and a half times more time on feed explorationand eating than MO-piglets throughout lactation (P<0.0009 at all observation days). Eatingthe common creep feed, however, was seen two times more in MO than in DV-piglets at d18(P<0.01) and d27 (P<0.05). DV enhanced the percentage of eaters/litter (d11: 71%, d18: 95%,d27: 99%) at all observation days (P<0.05) compared to MO (d11: 45%, d18: 71%, d27: 81%).DV-piglets also tended to grow faster in the last two days prior to weaning compared to MOpiglets(28 g/d, P<0.10). In conclusion, a diverse feeding regime for suckling piglets stimulatedfeed exploration, eating and the % of eaters from an early age onwards, and enhanced theirgrowth towards weaning. Feed presentation in a foraging-stimulating context only subtlystimulated exploratory behaviour and eating. As such, the data suggests that dietary diversityis a promising feeding strategy in getting piglets to eat during lactation and may thereforebenefit welfare and performance around weaning, while provision of substrate in the feederstimulates natural foraging behaviour.
    Early life microbiota transplantation affects behaviour and peripheral serotonin in feather pecking selection lines
    Eijk, Jerine van der - \ 2019
    Effect of early life and current environmental enrichment and personality on attention bias in pigs
    Luo, Lu - \ 2019
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