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Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management.

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

Bottom Line: 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.

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.


Social network of veal calves in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).
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animals-04-00093-f006: Social network of veal calves in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).

Mentions: In addition, facility usage is an important factor in on-farm management, as seen earlier in the laying hen example. The 2-mode SNA for veal calves indicates that in the positive network, half of the calves do not associate with a facility, while three calves display, above expectation, association with the slatted floor and two calves association with the cubicles (Figure 6; left graph). The negative calf-facility network indicates that three of the five calves (Calf8, Calf9 and Calf0) do not associate in a negative way with the facilities (Figure 6; right graph). Calf6 and Calf7 are found less frequently than expected in the cubicles and Calves1, 2 and 3 occupy the slatted floor less frequently than anticipated.


Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management.

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

Social network of veal calves 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-f006: Social network of veal calves in an indoor intensively managed group (left: positive network, right: negative network).
Mentions: In addition, facility usage is an important factor in on-farm management, as seen earlier in the laying hen example. The 2-mode SNA for veal calves indicates that in the positive network, half of the calves do not associate with a facility, while three calves display, above expectation, association with the slatted floor and two calves association with the cubicles (Figure 6; left graph). The negative calf-facility network indicates that three of the five calves (Calf8, Calf9 and Calf0) do not associate in a negative way with the facilities (Figure 6; right graph). Calf6 and Calf7 are found less frequently than expected in the cubicles and Calves1, 2 and 3 occupy the slatted floor less frequently than anticipated.

Bottom Line: 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.

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.