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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

Affiliation (2-mode) network of eight hens and five commodities based on significant positive associations (left graph) or significant negative associations (right graph).
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animals-04-00093-f004: Affiliation (2-mode) network of eight hens and five commodities based on significant positive associations (left graph) or significant negative associations (right graph).

Mentions: The social structure of laying hens based on nearest neighbor data may be relevant for understanding and reducing problem behavior in (large) flocks of laying hens. Behavior was scanned at sampling moments but not continuously (i.e., feather pecking FP). The associations found in the social positive and negative networks are not in agreement with the preliminary data. Hen1 displays no FP and is more often than expected the NN in the positive network of Hen5 who shows most FP. In the near future, feather pecking interactions should be measured and related with positive and/or negative networks based on NN-matrices in laying hens. Previous research with these laying hens attempted to determine their facility requirements using discrete-event modeling and facility capacity under different housing environments [63]. SNA can also include facility associations alongside individual associations. The positive 2-mode hen-facility network depicts a number of hens (Hen1, Hen2, and Hen8) that show no preference (as nearest neighbor) towards facilities (Figure 4; left graph). Hens6 and 7 are more often in the vicinity of food. The 2-mode negative hen-facility network indicates that these hens are found less frequently in the vicinity of the perch (Hen7) and litter (Hen6) (Figure 4; right graph). Significant association between animals and facilities may improve our understanding of 1-mode networks and probably be combined in future research and management.


Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management.

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

Affiliation (2-mode) network of eight hens and five commodities based on significant positive associations (left graph) or significant negative associations (right graph).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-04-00093-f004: Affiliation (2-mode) network of eight hens and five commodities based on significant positive associations (left graph) or significant negative associations (right graph).
Mentions: The social structure of laying hens based on nearest neighbor data may be relevant for understanding and reducing problem behavior in (large) flocks of laying hens. Behavior was scanned at sampling moments but not continuously (i.e., feather pecking FP). The associations found in the social positive and negative networks are not in agreement with the preliminary data. Hen1 displays no FP and is more often than expected the NN in the positive network of Hen5 who shows most FP. In the near future, feather pecking interactions should be measured and related with positive and/or negative networks based on NN-matrices in laying hens. Previous research with these laying hens attempted to determine their facility requirements using discrete-event modeling and facility capacity under different housing environments [63]. SNA can also include facility associations alongside individual associations. The positive 2-mode hen-facility network depicts a number of hens (Hen1, Hen2, and Hen8) that show no preference (as nearest neighbor) towards facilities (Figure 4; left graph). Hens6 and 7 are more often in the vicinity of food. The 2-mode negative hen-facility network indicates that these hens are found less frequently in the vicinity of the perch (Hen7) and litter (Hen6) (Figure 4; right graph). Significant association between animals and facilities may improve our understanding of 1-mode networks and probably be combined in future research and management.

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