Limits...
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 veal calves (NND < 1 meter) in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494306&req=5

animals-04-00093-f005: Social network of veal calves (NND < 1 meter) in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).

Mentions: A complete social network analysis was performed involving all data not limited by NND (see Example #2 brown bears). The positive network has a density of 0.22 and the negative network a density of 0.23. Data showed that often only one calf was eating and the others were lying down. In that case the nearest neighbor was one of the lying calves depending on the eating position. The social network was recalculated using only NN-pairs with a NND of less than 1 meter. The unlimited NN-matrix (N = 17,330) correlated significantly positively (R = 0.95, P < 0.0001) with the NN-matrix using NN-pairs of NND < 1 meter (N = 11,429). The sociogram of both analyses is essentially the same; the sociogram of positive calf associations at less than 1 meter is shown within the group of ten calves (Figure 5; left graph). All calves displayed positive relationships, mostly two-way and sometimes one-way (Calf0-Calf3 and Calf2-Calf3). The positive and negative network densities are 0.23. The same amount of significant negative associations was found between the calves (Figure 5; right graph).


Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management.

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

Social network of veal calves (NND < 1 meter) in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-04-00093-f005: Social network of veal calves (NND < 1 meter) in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).
Mentions: A complete social network analysis was performed involving all data not limited by NND (see Example #2 brown bears). The positive network has a density of 0.22 and the negative network a density of 0.23. Data showed that often only one calf was eating and the others were lying down. In that case the nearest neighbor was one of the lying calves depending on the eating position. The social network was recalculated using only NN-pairs with a NND of less than 1 meter. The unlimited NN-matrix (N = 17,330) correlated significantly positively (R = 0.95, P < 0.0001) with the NN-matrix using NN-pairs of NND < 1 meter (N = 11,429). The sociogram of both analyses is essentially the same; the sociogram of positive calf associations at less than 1 meter is shown within the group of ten calves (Figure 5; left graph). All calves displayed positive relationships, mostly two-way and sometimes one-way (Calf0-Calf3 and Calf2-Calf3). The positive and negative network densities are 0.23. The same amount of significant negative associations was found between the calves (Figure 5; right graph).

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