Animal production lectures 4 & 5
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Study of animal behaviour
Define applied ethology
Study and application of behavioural principles to animals under human care
What is behaviour?
Outward expression or observable response of an organism to external and internal stimuli
Differentiate between proximal and ultimate explanations to behaviour
- A ultimate definition of a behaviour resides in the evolutionary explanation, i.e. the bull has horns to fight off competition (even though he doesn't need them today)
- A proximal definition of a behaviour is more down to earth and is in the context of the physiology and or biochemistry i.e. the bull has horns because his genetic makeup says he will then the hormone cascade comes at a certain age and this stimulates budding
Does an animals behaviour only depend on the external stimuli?
NO it also depends on the internal motivational state of said animal
While it may appear like we have changed many traits of our domestic animals and this may be true physically , have we been able to domesticate the behaviour out of them?
- No not quite, we have been unable to truly remove behaviours froma species, cattle still act like cattle and dogs like dogs
- Proof of this comes from the fact that we can still have feral animals
So as a rule of thumb has domestication changed a small or large proportion of animal behaviours
What is a stereotypy?
A repeated relatively invariate sequence of movements which has no obvious purpose
Do stereotypies just appear?
No they develope
Does a stereotypy have an obvious function?
When a stereotypy occurs what is often released in the brain? When this ceases does the stereotypy cease? What does this suggest
- yes it does
- They could be working for a mental reward,
What is a stereotypy considered to be an indicator of?
What are a few welfare concerns that can cause stereotypys
- social isolation
- early/abrupt weaning
What effect would you expect tactile and visual contact with another horse to have on a horses amount of stereotypy? What about better quality hay..? More feed? What about straw for bedding rather than wood shavings
- Less Stereo
- More stereo
- Less stereo - cause can chew
Exposure to stereotypic horses, aggression towards other horses, multiple riders and receiving oats more than 2x a day all contribute to what
Stereotypy formation in horses
Why do PMU mares not have as many stereotypys
- Fed ad lib all day poor quality hay
- Kept in large social groups
Differentiate between Stereotypy and an obsessive compulsize disorder
- Stereotypie = Controlled by contention scheduling system located within the basal ganglia
- OCD = Controlled by supervisory attentional system located in the prefrontal cortex and involves repetition of an appropriate goal
feather pecking in parrots is an? and is due to? Stereotypies in parrots are due to?
- Simialr basal ganglia dysfunction as autism and schizophrenia
Is environement the cause of stereotypies in sows?
No it is feed withdrawl
When do we see the most stereotypies in sows? When do we see the sharpest drop?
- Before and after feeding immediately
- During feeding
Sows left to live outdoors but still feed restricted. How does their stereotypie amount compare to standard sows?
Same they just rock chew instead of bar bite
Why do sows in gestation stall perform stereotypies and sows in farrowing crates do not?
- Sows in farrowing crates get more food
- They both have the same amount of space almost exactly
Other than food intake what is sow stereotypie occurrence related too?
Age, young animals don't seem to perform stereotypies
Define maternal behaviour
Mothers willingness to invest her time and resources into the successful rearing and protection of her young
Do mammalian species qite maternal behaviour after weaning?
No they continue after weaning and before birth
Why are open cows harder to wean off their babies than pregnant ones? What is the term for this?
- Cause they don't have that feedback from the next offspring telling them to dedicate more resources towards them
- Essentially pregnancy takes more resourcs and doesn't allow the mother to focus on the weaned animal as much
- Sibling rivalry - the new offspring is capable of creating hormones and chemicals that pass across the placenta to the mothers system shifting maternal interest
Which of our species finish lactating before being bred again? Which ones don't?
- Cat, Dog, Pig, Sheep
- Cattle, horses
What hormone is necessary for initiation of maternal behaviour? Without the proper hormone profile willa female be as good at maternal behaviour?
What does birth site selection and preparation depend on?
Number of offspring and developemental stage of offspring
Define precocial and altricial
- Precocial = neonate has well developed sensory systems and motor skills
- Altricial = neonate has poorly developed motor skills and under developed sensory system ( usually blind)
Which of there species is altricial and which has single or multiple offspring?
- Single, alt
- Mult, alt
- Mult, alt
- Mult, alt
- Single prec
- Multiple prec
- Single prec
- Mult prec
- Mult prec
While birth site preparation can vary dramatically from nothing to full nest preparation where do our everday aniamls fit in
- Paw the ground
- Make a depression
- Nest building
- Nest building
- Gather material for nest
Why would an animal build a birth site or nest?
- Protect neonates from harsh environment
- Protect and hide young from predators
- Isolate young from conspecifics (protected place for formation of mother young bond)
What is placentophagia? Why would an animal want to do this?
- Eating of the birthing material
- NEst site hygiene, predator avoidance, and nutrient recycling
A change from an isolated bunny breeding facility to a free stall one had what effects on production
- No cannibalism
- Quick post partujm mating
- Good reaing success and less scattering
Lambing cubicles help do what?
Lower stealing of lambs and decrease separated lambs from mothers
WHy did we originally start using the farrowing crate?
To stop mothers from squishing piglets
Do animals just birth at random times?
No many animals birth at very specific times?
When do horse usualy foal?
When do llamas usually give birth? Why is this?
- Before noon
- Because up in andes need to dry off before evening and llamas don't lick their young
Name some species that give birth at random times of the day
Why is it not easy to predict a time of parturiton
Cause animals don't often advertise when they are giving birth because it makes them vulnerable so hide it best they can
What are some factors affecting parturition
- Voluntary control
- Time of feeding (debatable)
- Weather conditons (anecdotal evidence only)
Do most of our species rely on maternal care or paternal care? What are some exceptions?
IS it important for a mother to recognize her own offspring? Why?
- So that she doesn't run the risk of providing care and energy to some other mothers young
- If she cannot recognize her young how can she be assured that she is caring for her own?
What are the 4 main lessons from the bear story?
- Cows do not need horns to protect their calves
- Cows recognize predators and have no tolerance
- Cows are capable of recognizing difference between human and predator
- You do not need man killer cows to have good mothers
What 2 things indefinitely must happen for a cow to be able to recognize her calf?
- Sensory capacity to disninguish unique featurs or features that vary between individuals
- Some capacity to compare sensory information against some memory or template that indicates recognition
Does it take many unique features to make an animal unique in appearance?
No 3 dots alone could make an animal recogninizable
When is there strong selective pressure for a mother to be able to recognize her young by?
Before the time in which conspecifics mix together
Why are pigs easier to cross foster than sheep?
Because pigs have a longer time (4-8 days) before they start to recognize their young so you can easily put them in there and they wont know whereas the sheep recognizes young immediatly
Which animals are the easiest to cross foster on? Why>
- Dogs and cats
- Longets period before recognition
Why would animals in nests seem to not recognize the young until later?
Don't need to they are all in the nest anyways
What are the 3 types of recognition
- Spatial = Remembering the location of the nest can provide care to offspring without risk of caring for other conspecifics
- Familiarity through association = learn offspring over time by remembering distinguishing feature (visual/auditory/odor)
- Phenotypic = Known traits of self or siblings can be use dto identify unknown relatives
WHen do robins start to recognize young?
When they get out of the nest
Differnetiate betyween familiarity and phenotypic recognition
- Familarity have to had acutally met, they are who you grew up with and are familiar because you know eachother
- Phentoypic recognition = recognize eachother solely on the fact that you have similar phenotypes, even if have never seen eachother begfore
Why do dogs and cats adopt so many random things?
Because they have such a long recognition period in the nest its easy for something to fall into ther
What type of recognition pattern do humans use?
Spatial that's why we put bracelets on babys at hospitals
What hormones is necessary for the beginning of maternal behaviour and the recognition of offspring?
Will mothers recognize offspring without oxytocin?
Are cattle receptive to recognition at birth always? Why is this a problem
- No there is a curve some are but some are before and some are after
- Because if receptive before birth can adopt some one elses calf, if receptive to long after birth wont accept own calf
What is the important thing the calf has to do after birth? What about the mom? (2)
- Shake its head
- Lick and sniff the baby to get some of the birthing fluids
Why can taking calves in to warm them up and brining them back out after birth be bad?
Because then moms time for recognition could be done
What does the hormone profile interact with to cause postparturient maternal behaviour
what are 8 factors that can block maternal behaviour?
- Wrong hormonal profile
- Lack of cervical stimulation
- Drugs that interfere with oxytocin
- Hormones that interfere with oxytocin
- Interference by other females
- Birthing fatigue or weak offspring
- Poor body condition socres
Why can overly large offspring or overly weak offspring weaken the maternal behaviour response
- Large = moms to tired
- Small = doesn't shake doesn't move much doesn't stimulate response
Why would cows who go through c sections be so much more likely to have adoption of baby isssues as compared to natural births?
Lack of cervical stimulation (6 times more likely to show rejecting signs)
Why does putting feed on calf that is being rejected help with the adoption
- cause when mom goes to eat food get whiff and lick of birthing fluids and gets motherly instinct
- Could also just grab handful of fluids and stick in mouth
What are the 4 main factors that can aid or start appropriate behaviour in cows just giving birth
- Leave female sundisturbed during parturition
- Minimize assistance
- Taste of birth fluids
- Milk letdown
Why be so weary about hand raised male orphans?
Imprinted on humans
What is imprinting?
- Raised with people thinks he is a people sees you as his own kind therefore his competition
- BUll grows up to breed what he grew up with
Why isn't imprinting in cows such a big deal?
Because they still get turned on by the courtship of their own kind and are not going to be aggressive towards you for mating rights
When trying to foster a baby lamb why would tie it down?
Cause if it runs to the udder immediately it will be rejected, If you tie it down and allow the mother to lick it you have a better chance
Why do people use vanilla and other strong scents to help cross fostering?
- Because they think if ewes lamb dies cover it in vanilla and then cover adoptable lamb in vanilla she will think same one and will adopt
- Only works because of association with the other lamb that was a ctually hers
- Much easier to never let her see dead lamb and just smear birth fluids onto the new one and shes none the wiser
So is the skinned jacket technique for lambing practical?
Silly too much work just smear birth fluids its the same concept
Why doesn't putting a ewe in the stocks for 24-48 hours with the lamb running around work?
Cause she is not stupid she can discriminate and as soon as she gets out she knows
Would changing feeding regime eliminate stereotypies?
Yeah probably for a bit
What is purpose of lactation and milk anyways?
To get neonate to point it can eat adult food
Why is calving within or out of the heerd in hiding a very plastic behaviour?
Cause if you calve on the open plain this month there is no where to hide better to calve in gropup but If in dense forest myas well go hide
Why is it so easy to lose a lamb to another ewe
Cause lambs follow moving things and in crowded gestation pens there are moving animals everywhere, when ewe goes to give birth to twin first lamb takes off
European rabbits live where? What about north American rabbits?
- In underground colonies
- No above ground
Why would an animal such as a horse want to be born at night?
Easier to hide from predators
What behaviour change do we see in sows when the birthing is coming
Restless start grabbing onto things to build nests with
Do horses have more or less control over when they give birth than most animals
What do male dogs do for the pups?
Chew food up and regurgiatate it for them at the corner of his mouth
How do sows with such large littlers prevent milk stealing?
Sow calls the piglets they all come she give a few grunts millk letdown happens for 40 seconds, all milk dries up there ya goo nothing to steal cause you cant finish earlier than piglet 2
Are all births human attended?
Depends on the species but most often not
Do cows need to be aggressive to be good moms?
No not at all
If cows don't need horns to protect offspring why do they have them?
- Primary pressure is secual, can be seen cause more common to have in ruminats only in males
- If horns were essential for defense all females would have them and out of `120 ruminants 80 have both male female horns
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