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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    Water use in greenhouse horticulture: efficiency and circularity
    Costa, Joaquim Miguel ; Berckmoes, Els ; Beerling, E.A.M. ; Nicol, Silvana ; Jose, Juan ; Garcia, Javier ; Cáceres, Rafaela - \ 2019
    EIP-AGRI (EIP-AGRI Focus Group – Circular horticulture Mini-paper ) - 19 p.
    J oaquim Miguel Costa , Els Berkmoes , E ll e n B e e rling, Silvana Nicol , Juan Jose, Javier Gar c ia , Rafaela C á ceres
    SerpinA3N is a novel hypothalamic gene upregulated by a high-fat diet and leptin in mice
    Sergi, Domenico ; Campbell, Fiona M. ; Grant, Christine ; Morris, Amanda C. ; Bachmair, Eva Maria ; Koch, Christiane ; McLean, Fiona H. ; Muller, Aifric ; Hoggard, Nigel ; Roos, Baukje de; Porteiro, Begona ; Boekschoten, Mark V. ; McGillicuddy, Fiona C. ; Kahn, Darcy ; Nicol, Phyllis ; Benzler, Jonas ; Mayer, Claus Dieter ; Drew, Janice E. ; Roche, Helen M. ; Muller, Michael ; Nogueiras, Ruben ; Dieguez, Carlos ; Tups, Alexander ; Williams, Lynda M. - \ 2018
    Genes & Nutrition 13 (2018). - ISSN 1555-8932
    High-fat diet - Hypothalamus - Leptin - SerpinA3N

    Background: Energy homeostasis is regulated by the hypothalamus but fails when animals are fed a high-fat diet (HFD), and leptin insensitivity and obesity develops. To elucidate the possible mechanisms underlying these effects, a microarray-based transcriptomics approach was used to identify novel genes regulated by HFD and leptin in the mouse hypothalamus. Results: Mouse global array data identified serpinA3N as a novel gene highly upregulated by both a HFD and leptin challenge. In situ hybridisation showed serpinA3N expression upregulation by HFD and leptin in all major hypothalamic nuclei in agreement with transcriptomic gene expression data. Immunohistochemistry and studies in the hypothalamic clonal neuronal cell line, mHypoE-N42 (N42), confirmed that alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (α1AC), the protein encoded by serpinA3, is localised to neurons and revealed that it is secreted into the media. SerpinA3N expression in N42 neurons is upregulated by palmitic acid and by leptin, together with IL-6 and TNFα, and all three genes are downregulated by the anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Additionally, palmitate upregulation of serpinA3 in N42 neurons is blocked by the NFκB inhibitor, BAY11, and the upregulation of serpinA3N expression in the hypothalamus by HFD is blunted in IL-1 receptor 1 knockout (IL-1R1 -/- ) mice. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that serpinA3 expression is implicated in nutritionally mediated hypothalamic inflammation.

    Towards a common conceptual framework and illustrative model for feather pecking in poultry and tail biting in pigs : Connecting science to solutions
    Bracke, M.B.M. ; Rodenburg, T.B. ; Vermeer, H.M. ; Niekerk, T.G.C.M. van - \ 2018
    Wageningen :
    Feather pecking (fp) in poultry and tail biting (tb) in pigs are among the most persistent animal-welfareproblems associated with intensive livestock farming. Both problems have been studied and reviewedextensively (e.g. fp: (Rodenburg et al., 2008; Nicol et al., 2013; Rodenburg et al., 2013); tb: (Schrøder-Petersen and Simonsen, 2001; Bracke et al., 2004a; EFSA, 2007b; Taylor et al., 2010; D’Eath et al., 2014;Valros, 2017)). Legislation and policy initiatives have been discouraging the continued performance ofroutine mutilations (beak treatment and tail docking for fp and tb respectively). However, both poultry andpig farmers generally find it difficult to stop mutilations and prevent and/or treat these injurious behavioursin intensive farming systems. Comparing fp and tb may help address these problems. However, few papershave compared the two forms of abnormal behaviour in detail. One notable exception is the fairly recentOpen-Access publication by Brunberg et al. (2016). These authors discussed similarities and differencesbetween fp and tb, and presented a general model which looks somewhat like an envelope. This publicationis written for a scientific audience, and it is not easy to read for farmers and others interested in solving fp/tbsuch as vets, other farm advisors and NGOs. Also the ‘envelope-shaped’ model presented by Brunberg et al.(2016) is not as appealing as we would (ideally) like it to be. It mainly says that by nature both pigs andpoultry are omnivorous generalists that have (had to) become production specialists via genetic selection andrearing in large-scale intensive systems applying a one-size-fits-all principle. According to Brunberg et al.both the physical and social environment (‘where you are’ and ‘who is with you’), together with animal related factors (‘who you are’) determines ‘what you become’ in terms of fp or tb, i.e. a performer(pecker/biter), victim/receiver or a neutral animal. The authors also hypothesise that the gut-microbiotabrainaxis may play a crucial role which should be investigated further. This is in accordance with thecommon view that fp and tb are multifactorial problems associated with the substantial discrepancy betweenthe natural and the commercial environment resulting in a (seriously) deprived foraging (and/or feeding)motivation that eventually leads to fp/tb (and worse, i.e. cannibalism, if not curtailed adequately). It is not entirely clear, however, why the model (figure) in Brunberg et al. (2016) should look like anenvelope. When looking a bit more closely at the figure, the model appears to encompass everything (theanimal, its history and its entire, physical and social, environment). Only upon more careful examination andin particular when reading the text itself do the further ramifications underlying the model become moreclear. Since we feel the text may be rather inaccessible for practical application in problem solving, oneobjective of these blog posts, therefore, is to compare this model to other models, esp. those developed inour own organisation (Wageningen University & Research), in order to see if we can better highlight theavailable knowledge that should be used to (eventually help) solve the problem in practice. To this end wehave also tried to make the information presented by Brunberg et al. (2016) more accessible, and wesupplemented it with our personal expertise on fp/tb. It is important to emphasise, however, that the primaryaim of this publication is to improve on the available conceptual frameworks to facilitate practicalunderstanding of fp and tb so as to support solving the problem in the future. We do not, however, aim topresent a tool box or cook book for solving fp/tb.
    Urban greening as a tool for urban heat island mitigation – a survey of research methodologies in different climatic regions
    Saaroni, H. ; Amorim, J.H. ; Hiemstra, J.A. ; Pearlmutter, David - \ 2017
    In: Proceedings of 33rd PLEA International Conference. - - p. 2896 - 2903.
    Grassroots scalar politics in the Peruvian Andes: Mobilizing allies to defend community waters in the Upper Pampas watershed
    Verzijl, A. ; Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. ; Boelens, R.A. - \ 2017
    In: Water Governance and Collective Action / Suhardiman, Diana, Nicol, Alan, Mapedza, Everisto, Oxon : Earthscan/Routledge (Earthscan Water Text Series ) - ISBN 9781138040540 - p. 34 - 45.
    Water is and has always been the “life stream” of rural livelihoods in Andean communities. Access to water has for centuries been guaranteed through various forms of collective action and autonomous governance structures (Boelens, 2015). Until now, collective action has assured individual water access and is mostly based on local, inter- and intra-community water rights systems that shape, and are shaped by, water flows and infrastructure, local water-related practices, authorities and territory, and particular world views on how societies relate to water and nature (see Beccar et al., 2002; Hoogesteger et al., 2016).
    Collective action, community and the peasant economy in Andean highland water control
    Boelens, R.A. ; Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. - \ 2017
    In: Water Governance and Collective Action / Suhardiman, Diana, Nicol, Alan, Mapedza, Everisto, Oxon : Earthscan/Routledge (Earthscan Water Text Series ) - ISBN 9781138040540 - p. 96 - 107.
    For many Andean communities, irrigation systems form the basis for accessing water for agricultural production and, as such, they are an important axis around which collective action is mobilized (Bolin, 1990; Hoogesteger, 2013b; Verzijl and Guerrero Quispe, 2013). In the Andean context, with unpredictable climates, unstable geophysical conditions, and changing irrigation policies, more than almost any other economic activity, irrigation is grounded in collective action that is based on mutual dependence and intensive cooperation among users. In the Andes, besides privately managed irrigation systems owned by landlords and agribusiness companies, two forms of irrigation development and water use systems prevail, which in broad terms can be divided into state led and community based. State-led irrigation development has been characterized by its large scale, high cost, market-oriented and top-down management approach since at least the 1960s. On the other hand, community-managed irrigation systems tend to be small scale, constructed with local resources and know-how, managed through collective action from the bottom up and often with a very diverse production rationale. These two forms of irrigation management have grown closer to each other in the last three decades as on the one side collective action has come to play a more important role in formerly state-managed irrigation systems and, on the other, the state has become more active in funding the modernization of community-managed irrigation systems.
    Goldmining, dispossessing the commons and Multi-scalar responses : The case of Cerro de San Pedro, Mexico 1
    Stoltenborg, D. ; Boelens, R.A. - \ 2017
    In: Water Governance and Collective Action / Suhardiman, Diana, Nicol, Alan, Mapedza, Everisto, Oxon : Earthscan/Routledge (Earthscan Water Text Series ) - ISBN 9781138040540 - p. 120 - 130.
    This chapter elaborates how conflict arose over common land and water resources between the inhabitants of Cerro de San Pedro and MSX, causing severe environmental impacts and affecting local communities at large. It explains how the communities redefine and reshape their level of engagement in the management of the commons, and how they create multi-actor and multi-scalar opposition networks strategized to defend the commons by interlinking the local with the national and global. Through multi-actor networks that creatively engage in multi-scalar action, mining-affected population groups together with a variety of mutually complementary advocacy and policy actors have worked hard to balance the two sides' negotiating power and force MSX to clean up the mining residue and facilitate alternative local livelihood opportunities. In this way, environmental justice struggles frame, deploy and entwine diverse scales and engage a plurality of complementary actors.
    Hydro-hegemony or water security community? Collective action, cooperation and conflict in the SADC transboundary security complex
    Meissner, Richard ; Warner, J.F. - \ 2017
    In: Governance and Collective Action / Suhardiman, Diana, Nicol, Alan, Mapedza, Everisto, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group - ISBN 9781138040540 - p. 46 - 57.
    After the Berlin Wall came down, the fragile Cold War equilibrium frayed. Dire Malthusian warnings of green wars, especially over water, in areas with high population pressures dominated the 1990s transboundary water literature. After Wolf (1995) showed that violent water conflict is extremely rare and cooperation the norm, attention started to shift to water cooperation and how to achieve it.
    Naturalized alien flora of the world : Species diversity, taxonomic and phylogenetic patterns, geographic distribution and global hotspots of plant invasion
    Pyšek, Petr ; Pergl, Jan ; Essl, Franz ; Lenzner, Bernd ; Dawson, Wayne ; Kreft, Holger ; Weigelt, Patrick ; Winter, Marten ; Kartesz, John ; Nishino, Misako ; Antonova, Liubov A. ; Barcelona, Julie F. ; Cabezas, Francisco J. ; Cárdenas, Dairon ; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana ; Castaño, Nicolás ; Chacón, Eduardo ; Chatelain, Cyrille ; Dullinger, Stefan ; Ebel, Aleksandr L. ; Figueiredo, Estrela ; Fuentes, Nicol ; Genovesi, Piero ; Groom, Quentin J. ; Henderson, Lesley ; Inderjit, ; Kupriyanov, Andrey ; Masciadri, Silvana ; Maurel, Noëlie ; Meerman, Jan ; Morozova, Olga ; Moser, Dietmar ; Nickrent, Daniel L. ; Nowak, Pauline M. ; Pagad, Shyama ; Patzelt, Annette ; Pelser, Pieter B. ; Seebens, Hanno ; Shu, Wen Sheng ; Thomas, Jacob ; Velayos, Mauricio ; Weber, Ewald ; Wieringa, Jan J. ; Baptiste, María P. ; Kleunen, Mark Van - \ 2017
    Preslia 89 (2017)3. - ISSN 0032-7786 - p. 203 - 274.
    Alien species - Distribution - Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database - Invasive species - Islands - Life history - Mainland - Naturalized species - Phylogeny - Plant invasion - Regional floras - Species richness - Taxonomy - Zonobiome
    Using the recently built Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database, containing data on the distribution of naturalized alien plants in 483 mainland and 361 island regions of the world, we describe patterns in diversity and geographic distribution of naturalized and invasive plant species, taxonomic, phylogenetic and life-history structure of the global naturalized flora as well as levels of naturalization and their determinants. The mainland regions with the highest numbers of naturalized aliens are some Australian states (with New South Wales being the richest on this continent) and several North American regions (of which California with 1753 naturalized plant species represents the world's richest region in terms of naturalized alien vascular plants). England, Japan, New Zealand and the Hawaiian archipelago harbour most naturalized plants among islands or island groups. These regions also form the main hotspots of the regional levels of naturalization, measured as the percentage of naturalized aliens in the total flora of the region. Such hotspots of relative naturalized species richness appear on both the western and eastern coasts of North America, in north-western Europe, South Africa, south-eastern Australia, New Zealand, and India. High levels of island invasions by naturalized plants are concentrated in the Pacific, but also occur on individual islands across all oceans. The numbers of naturalized species are closely correlated with those of native species, with a stronger correlation and steeper increase for islands than mainland regions, indicating a greater vulnerability of islands to invasion by species that become successfully naturalized. South Africa, India, California, Cuba, Florida, Queensland and Japan have the highest numbers of invasive species. Regions in temperate and tropical zonobiomes harbour in total 9036 and 6774 naturalized species, respectively, followed by 3280 species naturalized in the Mediterranean zonobiome, 3057 in the subtropical zonobiome and 321 in the Arctic. The New World is richer in naturalized alien plants, with 9905 species compared to 7923 recorded in the Old World. While isolation is the key factor driving the level of naturalization on islands, zonobiomes differing in climatic regimes, and socioeconomy represented by per capita GDP, are central for mainland regions. The 11 most widely distributed species each occur in regions covering about one third of the globe or more in terms of the number of regions where they are naturalized and at least 35% of the Earth's land surface in terms of those regions' areas, with the most widely distributed species Sonchus oleraceus occuring in 48% of the regions that cover 42% of the world area. Other widely distributed species are Ricinus communis, Oxalis corniculata, Portulaca oleracea, Eleusine indica, Chenopodium album, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Stellaria media, Bidens pilosa, Datura stramonium and Echinochloa crus-galli. Using the occurrence as invasive rather than only naturalized yields a different ranking, with Lantana camara (120 regions out of 349 for which data on invasive status are known), Calotropis procera (118), Eichhornia crassipes (113), Sonchus oleraceus (108) and Leucaena leucocephala (103) on top. As to the life-history spectra, islands harbour more naturalized woody species (34.4%) thanmainland regions (29.5%), and fewer annual herbs (18.7% compared to 22.3%). Ranking families by their absolute numbers of naturalized species reveals that Compositae (1343 species), Poaceae (1267) and Leguminosae (1189) contribute most to the global naturalized alien flora. Some families are disproportionally represented by naturalized aliens on islands (Arecaceae, Araceae, Acanthaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae, Convolvulaceae, Rubiaceae, Malvaceae), and much fewer so on mainland (e.g. Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Boraginaceae). Relating the numbers of naturalized species in a family to its total global richness shows that some of the large species-rich families are over-represented among naturalized aliens (e.g. Poaceae, Leguminosae, Rosaceae, Amaranthaceae, Pinaceae), some under-represented (e.g. Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae), whereas the one richest in naturalized species, Compositae, reaches a value expected from its global species richness. Significant phylogenetic signal indicates that families with an increased potential of their species to naturalize are not distributed randomly on the evolutionary tree. Solanum (112 species), Euphorbia (108) and Carex (106) are the genera richest in terms of naturalized species; over-represented on islands are Cotoneaster, Juncus, Eucalyptus, Salix, Hypericum, Geranium and Persicaria, while those relatively richer in naturalized species on the mainland are Atriplex, Opuntia, Oenothera, Artemisia, Vicia, Galium and Rosa. The data presented in this paper also point to where information is lacking and set priorities for future data collection. The GloNAF database has potential for designing concerted action to fill such data gaps, and provide a basis for allocating resources most efficiently towards better understanding and management of plant invasions worldwide.
    Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants
    Kleunen, Mark Van; Dawson, Wayne ; Essl, Franz ; Pergl, Jan ; Winter, Marten ; Weber, Ewald ; Kreft, Holger ; Weigelt, Patrick ; Kartesz, John ; Nishino, Misako ; Antonova, Liubov A. ; Barcelona, Julie F. ; Cabezas, Francisco J. ; Cárdenas, Dairon ; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana ; Castaño, Nicolás ; Chacón, Eduardo ; Chatelain, Cyrille ; Ebel, Aleksandr L. ; Figueiredo, Estrela ; Fuentes, Nicol ; Groom, Quentin J. ; Henderson, Lesley ; Inderjit, ; Kupriyanov, Andrey ; Masciadri, Silvana ; Meerman, Jan ; Morozova, Olga ; Moser, Dietmar ; Nickrent, Daniel L. ; Patzelt, Annette ; Pelser, Pieter B. ; Baptiste, María P. ; Poopath, Manop ; Schulze, Maria ; Seebens, Hanno ; Shu, Wen Sheng ; Thomas, Jacob ; Velayos, Mauricio ; Wieringa, Jan J. ; Pyšek, Petr - \ 2015
    Nature 525 (2015)7567. - ISSN 0028-0836 - p. 100 - 103.

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

    Dierenwelzijn in belang van mens en dier werkt
    Beintema, N. ; Cock Buning, T. de; Camerlink, I. ; Nicol, C.J. - \ 2014
    Hypothese / Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek 2014 (2014)2. - ISSN 1381-5652 - p. 8 - 9.
    The prevention and control of feather pecking: application to commercial systems
    Nicol, C.J. ; Bestman, M. ; Gilani, A.M. ; Haas, E.N. de; Jong, I.C. de; Lampton, S. ; Wagenaar, J.P. ; Weeks, C.A. ; Rodenburg, T.B. - \ 2013
    Worlds Poultry Science Journal 69 (2013)4. - ISSN 0043-9339 - p. 775 - 788.
    housed laying hens - gallus-gallus-domesticus - housing systems - risk-factors - alternative systems - stocking density - flock size - furnished cages - light-intensity - rearing factors
    Studies on the prevalence of feather pecking in different commercial laying hen 23 systems and its welfare and economic impacts are reviewed in the following paper. 24 Current methods for controlling feather pecking include beak-trimming and alterations to light regimes, but these methods have significant disadvantages from the perspective of bird welfare. A substantial body of research has now identified risk factors for feather pecking during both the rearing and laying periods. It is argued that these findings can be translated into optimised management practices that can prevent and control feather pecking whilst simultaneously conferring welfare benefits. The genetic basis of feather pecking is considered, and studies that suggest group selection techniques could produce birds with a reduced tendency to feather peck in commercial flocks are highlighted. Keywords: laying hen; feather pecking; beak-trimming; light; risk factor; genetic selection
    The prevention and control of feather pecking in laying hens: identifying the underlying principles
    Rodenburg, T.B. ; Krimpen, M.M. van; Jong, I.C. de; Haas, E.N. de; Kops, M.S. ; Riedstra, B.J. ; Nordquist, R.E. ; Wagenaar, J.P. ; Bestman, M.W.P. ; Nicol, C.J. - \ 2013
    Worlds Poultry Science Journal 69 (2013)2. - ISSN 0043-9339 - p. 361 - 374.
    nonstarch polysaccharide concentration - gallus-gallus-domesticus - heart-rate-variability - open-field response - rhode-island red - tonic immobility - nutrient dilution - manual restraint - eating behavior - different ages
    Feather pecking (FP) in laying hens remains an important economic and welfare issue. This paper reviews the literature on causes of FP in laying hens. With the ban on conventional cages in the EU from 2012 and the expected future ban on beak trimming in many European countries, addressing this welfare issue has become more pressing than ever. The aim of this review paper is to provide a detailed overview of underlying principles of FP. FP is affected by many different factors and any approach to prevent or reduce FP in commercial flocks should acknowledge that fact and use a multifactorial approach to address this issue. Two forms of FP can be distinguished: gentle FP and severe FP. Severe FP causes the most welfare issues in commercial flocks. Severe FP is clearly related to feeding and foraging behaviour and its development seems to be enhanced in conditions where birds have difficulty in coping with environmental stressors. Stimulating feeding and foraging behaviour by providing high-fibre diets and suitable litter from an early age onwards, and controlling fear and stress levels through genetic selection, reducing maternal stress and improving the stockmanship skills of the farmer, together offer the best prospect for preventing or controlling FP.
    Radar observation of storm rainfall for flash-flood forecasting
    Delrieu, G. ; Berne, A.D. ; Borga, M. ; Boudevillain, B. ; Chapon, B. ; Kierstetter, P.E. ; Nicol, J. ; Noribato, D. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2008
    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.
    The Laywell project: welfare implications of changes in production systems for laying hens
    Blokhuis, H.J. ; Fiks, T.G.C.M. ; Bessei, W. ; Elson, H.A. ; Guémené, D. ; Kjaer, J.B. ; Maria Levrino, G.A. ; Nicol, C.J. ; Tauson, R.K. ; Weeks, C.A. ; Weerd, H.A. v.d. - \ 2007
    Worlds Poultry Science Journal 63 (2007)1. - ISSN 0043-9339 - p. 101 - 114.
    furnished cages - housing systems - priorities - health - size - fear
    The conditions under which laying hens are kept remain a major animal welfare concern. It is one of the most intensive forms of animal production and the number of animals involved is very high. Widespread public debate has stimulated the call for more animal friendly, alternative systems to barren conventional cages. Directive 1999/74/EC has encouraged technical changes in current systems. Not only have traditional cages been modified (so-called 'enriched cages'), but also new alternative systems (e.g. aviaries) have been developed. There is an ongoing need to evaluate the actual welfare status of hens in these novel systems including those on commercial farms. The LayWel project, was funded via the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme and national funding from several EU countries. Its general objective was to produce an evaluation of the welfare of laying hens in various systems, with special focus on enriched cages, and to disseminate the information in all member states of the EU and associated countries. The project took into account pathological, zootechnical, physiological and ethological aspects. A major achievement of the LayWel project was the compilation of a database collecting data from different housing systems and thus enabling data comparison. The project partners recommend that support is given to maintaining the database in the future so that data can be more reliably modelled. As the type of data collected did not often allow a formal statistical analysis the evaluation of welfare was a presentation of risk factors and advantages and disadvantages of various housing systems. Conclusions are that, with the exception of conventional cages, all systems have the potential to provide satisfactory welfare for laying hens. However this potential is not always realised in practice. Among the numerous explanations are management, climate, design, different responses by different genotypes and interacting effects. A second major achievement of the project was the development of feather scoring and integument (skin, head and feet) scoring systems together with comprehensive sets of photographs. It is recommended that the integument scoring systems are widely adopted and used in on-going research. Farms should also routinely and frequently carry out integument scoring to assist in the detection of damaging pecking, which is currently a widespread welfare problem. Within LayWel an on-farm auditing procedure was developed in the form of a manual for self-assessment. The manual first explains what is meant by welfare and outlines the relevance of welfare assessment. It also summarises risks to welfare in the main categories of housing system. The second part contains recording forms, with guidance for assessing hen welfare. These enable regular checks of a range of indicators of laying hen welfare to be carried out systematically. The indicators were chosen to be relevant to hen welfare as well as feasible and reliable to apply in practice. A series of conclusions and recommendations were made on various aspects of housing systems, behaviour, health and mortality and other matters in relation to bird welfare. Full details of these and all other aspects of the LayWel project can be found on The information is also available on CDROM of which copies are freely available on request.
    The effect of stocking density, flock size and modified management on laying hen behaviour and welfare in a non-cage system
    Zimmerman, P.H. ; Lindberg, A.C. ; Pope, S.J. ; Glen, E. ; Bolhuis, J.E. ; Nicol, C.J. - \ 2006
    Applied Animal Behaviour Science 101 (2006)1-2. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 111 - 124.
    feather pecking - alternative systems - commercial farms - domestic-fowl - risk-factors - aggression - prevalence - associations - cannibalism - priorities
    The current large-scale experiment aimed to study laying hen behaviour under commercial stocking densities, flock sizes and management practices using a replicated design. Thirty-six flocks of beak-trimmed Shaver laying hens (113,400 birds in total), six flocks per treatment, were housed within commercial single-tier aviary systems. The six treatments comprised different combinations of stocking densities (low: 7 birds m¿2, medium: 9 birds m¿2, high: 12 birds m¿2), flock sizes (small: 2450/3150 birds, large: 4200 birds) and management conditions (standard and modified). Bird behaviour (incidence of feather pecking, aggression, preening, dustbathing and allopreening) was recorded directly by an observer when birds were approximately 32, 48 and 60 weeks of age. The initial level of feather pecking and aggression was highest in the low stocking density. Feather pecking and aggression increased with age but only in the high stocking density treatments. In the high stocking density treatments more aggression, preening and allopreening were recorded in small flocks than in large flocks and especially the small flocks under standard management conditions showed higher levels of feather pecking and aggression by the end of the laying cycle. This effect of small, high density flocks on feather pecking and aggression was counteracted by modified management conditions. Behavioural observations in this study did not show that the welfare of laying hens was compromised by housing them at 12 birds m¿2, in comparison with birds housed at 9 or 7 birds m¿2 in single-tier aviary system. However, modifications in management decreased feather pecking and aggression
    Review of 'Composite synchronization in parallel discrete-event simulation, authors Nicol, David M. and Liu, Jason'
    Kettenis, D.L. - \ 2003
    Computing Reviews 44 (2003)4. - ISSN 0010-4884 - p. 229 - 229.
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