Scientific Farm Animal Production

Biology

Quiz 22 :

Animal Behavior

Quiz 22 :

Animal Behavior

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Describe maladaptive behavior and how management can be helpful in mitigation.
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Animals that are unable to adapt to the environment may exhibit unusual behavior. In intensive management systems like poultry and swine, the animals are kept in continuous housing in order to maintain consistent temperature and humidity to assure biosecurity and to reduce the stress. Chicken and swine may exhibit cannibalistic behavior.
Swine producers cut or remove the tails of the baby pigs to prevent the tail chewing. This is because, tail chewing may cause bleeding and bleeding may provoke the pigs to be cannibalistic. Chickens also peck at each other to cause injuries. These cannibalistic behaviors may occur in a variety of housing conditions but are increased when the flock density is high.
In some cases, uncastrated male animals raised with other males may exhibit homosexuality. Submissive males should be separated from aggressive males to prevent injuries or death. Buller-Steer syndrome is exhibited in the steers which have been castrated before puberty. This leads to exhibition of masculine behavior. Some steers are attractive to other steers to mount.
When a steer mounts a Buller other steers are also attracted to do the same and may cause physical injury. Therefore, buller-steer syndrome reduces the feed lot gains, additional labor and equipment expense due to sorting of bullers into separate feed lot pens. In some feed lots 1 - 3% of steers are bullers. Some people agree that it is a sort of homosexual behavior of males in free ranging natural environments.

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Discuss the role of stockmanship in livestock and poultry production.
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Livestock intentional management should be very thoughtful and require the heart, head and eye of stockman to handle effectively. The live stock production has been developed over the ages and stockman has collected knowledge about best ways to provide care, handle, restrain, transport and harvest of the animals.
Animal behavior must be known thoroughly by a livestock manager to handle efficiently to provide economic benefits for all labor to the master and the crafts man. The eye of the livestock would be the master, the craft man becomes a hand and shepherd is the heard in livestock care and handling.

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What is the importance of understanding animal behavior when designing handling facilities?
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The handling of animals depends on temperament of animals, size and previous handling experience to design the handling facilities. Animals remember positive and negative experiences. In livestock, previous experience of calm and quite handling will have less stress and easy to handle in future. All species of the animals remain calm and easy to handle if they are acclimated to people moving around them.
Understanding the animal behavior can prevent the injury, stress and physical exertion for both the animals and producers. The natural response of the animal to the movement of the handler is important to minimize the stress for the movement of the livestock. Animals exhibit inquisitive behavior when a person outside flight zone enters in. The animals move away when the person moves inside flight zone. The size of the flight zone should be considered tame the animal or to estimate its wildness.
Several animals do not like blood odor as it appears to be offensive. Therefore, care must be taken to reduce or eliminate such odors and enable the animals to move with ease through the handling facilities. Animals are disturbed by loud or unusual noises of motor pumps and compressed air. So noise reduction should be done. Animals look through 310 - 360° vision and are sensitive to shadows and movements at the end of chute or outside the chute.
Therefore, the cattle will move with ease through curved chutes having solid sides. Round premises without square corners are easy to handle cattle with fewer injuries. The quiet and stress free handling of livestock is important for animal health status, improving productivity, minimizing the injuries and maximizing the longevity.

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What are the vocal and nonvocal sounds emitted by horses?
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Describe the physical signs of various moods expressed by equines.
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Provide examples of classical and operant conditioning.
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Describe the nine patterns of behavior and how this knowledge can improve management.
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Contrast trial and error behavior with imprinting.
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