Castration is a common practice in modern Canadian agriculture and around the world. Castration involves the removal or destruction of the testicles in male animals (1,2). Castration is divided into 3 major groups: physical, chemical and hormonal, with physical being most common (3). Methods of castration include surgical removal (knife), burdizzo (clamp used for physical crushing of testicular cord), elastrator/banding (damage scrotal and testicular blood supply) and (more…)
post-imageDr. Gosia Zobel, AgResearch Ltd.
As the public becomes more knowledgeable and more aware of food production practices, the need to provide assurances about the quality of life of our farm animals is growing in importance. This is, however, easier said than done given that many of the people not involved in agriculture rarely ask about how much milk a cow is producing but rather focus their questions on whether she is ‘happy’. As a behaviour scientist working in the Animal Welfare Team at AgResearch in New Zealand, I have been given the mandate to look for ways to ask cows how they feel – in
post-imageDr. Victoria Sandilands, Behavioural Scientist
The poultry industry has evolved over the last several decades and it is important to understand how and why those changes have taken place. In this article we will explore the modern laying hen and why we can be proud of these birds.
The modern laying hen evolved from the insectivorous jungle fowl, which lived in dense forests and spent 60-80% of the day foraging. Historically speaking, poultry
By Dr. Joao H.C. Costa
Why group housing?
Learning from others.
By Victoria Kyeiwaa, Prairie Swine Centre
Research on different enrichment materials for pigs has shown that giving appropriate enrichments to growing pigs can result in reduced aggression, reduced fear, improved growth and fewer behavioural vices such as tail-biting. Some commonly used enrichment materials are straw, chains, wood, rope, mushroom compost, wood shavings, garden hose, peat moss and rubber balls.
Although European research has identified straw and other malleable and consumable materials as being optimal, there has been a reluctance to provide such materials in North America.