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Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management.

Koene P, Ipema B - Animals (Basel) (2014)

Bottom Line: For instance, when laying hens are not too densely housed, simple networks may be established.Emphasis is placed on the automatic measurement of identity, location, nearest neighbors and nearest neighbor distance for management purposes.It is concluded that social networks are important to the welfare of human-managed animal species and that welfare management based on automatic recordings will become available in the near future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal Welfare, Wageningen UR Livestock Research, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands. paul.koene@wur.nl.

ABSTRACT
It may become advantageous to keep human-managed animals in the social network groups to which they have adapted. Data concerning the social networks of farm animal species and their ancestors are scarce but essential to establishing the importance of a natural social network for farmed animal species. Social Network Analysis (SNA) facilitates the characterization of social networking at group, subgroup and individual levels. SNA is currently used for modeling the social behavior and management of wild animals and social welfare of zoo animals. It has been recognized for use with farm animals but has yet to be applied for management purposes. Currently, the main focus is on cattle, because in large groups (poultry), recording of individuals is expensive and the existence of social networks is uncertain due to on-farm restrictions. However, in many cases, a stable social network might be important to individual animal fitness, survival and welfare. For instance, when laying hens are not too densely housed, simple networks may be established. We describe here small social networks in horses, brown bears, laying hens and veal calves to illustrate the importance of measuring social networks among animals managed by humans. Emphasis is placed on the automatic measurement of identity, location, nearest neighbors and nearest neighbor distance for management purposes. It is concluded that social networks are important to the welfare of human-managed animal species and that welfare management based on automatic recordings will become available in the near future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Social network of hens in an intensively managed indoor pen (positive network in left graph and negative network in right graph).
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animals-04-00093-f003: Social network of hens in an intensively managed indoor pen (positive network in left graph and negative network in right graph).

Mentions: Relatively few significant nearest neighbors were found, so the density of the positive network was low at 0.16 (Figure 3; left graph). The graph shows some strong bonds especially between Hen5-Hen8, Hen1-Hen5 and Hen1-Hen7. The density of the negative network was lower (0.11). In the socio-negative graph, Hen1 displays the most connections often directed towards Hen8 (Figure 3; right graph). In socio-positive as well as in negative relationships, Hen1 may play a key role and may be important for the welfare in the group.


Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management.

Koene P, Ipema B - Animals (Basel) (2014)

Social network of hens in an intensively managed indoor pen (positive network in left graph and negative network in right graph).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494306&req=5

animals-04-00093-f003: Social network of hens in an intensively managed indoor pen (positive network in left graph and negative network in right graph).
Mentions: Relatively few significant nearest neighbors were found, so the density of the positive network was low at 0.16 (Figure 3; left graph). The graph shows some strong bonds especially between Hen5-Hen8, Hen1-Hen5 and Hen1-Hen7. The density of the negative network was lower (0.11). In the socio-negative graph, Hen1 displays the most connections often directed towards Hen8 (Figure 3; right graph). In socio-positive as well as in negative relationships, Hen1 may play a key role and may be important for the welfare in the group.

Bottom Line: For instance, when laying hens are not too densely housed, simple networks may be established.Emphasis is placed on the automatic measurement of identity, location, nearest neighbors and nearest neighbor distance for management purposes.It is concluded that social networks are important to the welfare of human-managed animal species and that welfare management based on automatic recordings will become available in the near future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal Welfare, Wageningen UR Livestock Research, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands. paul.koene@wur.nl.

ABSTRACT
It may become advantageous to keep human-managed animals in the social network groups to which they have adapted. Data concerning the social networks of farm animal species and their ancestors are scarce but essential to establishing the importance of a natural social network for farmed animal species. Social Network Analysis (SNA) facilitates the characterization of social networking at group, subgroup and individual levels. SNA is currently used for modeling the social behavior and management of wild animals and social welfare of zoo animals. It has been recognized for use with farm animals but has yet to be applied for management purposes. Currently, the main focus is on cattle, because in large groups (poultry), recording of individuals is expensive and the existence of social networks is uncertain due to on-farm restrictions. However, in many cases, a stable social network might be important to individual animal fitness, survival and welfare. For instance, when laying hens are not too densely housed, simple networks may be established. We describe here small social networks in horses, brown bears, laying hens and veal calves to illustrate the importance of measuring social networks among animals managed by humans. Emphasis is placed on the automatic measurement of identity, location, nearest neighbors and nearest neighbor distance for management purposes. It is concluded that social networks are important to the welfare of human-managed animal species and that welfare management based on automatic recordings will become available in the near future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus