The AWIN project goal is to address the development, integration and dissemination of animal-based welfare indicators in different species, including goats. Considering the main productive systems around Europe, our first efforts focused on intensively bred adult dairy goats. We revised 40 scientific papers and drafted an initial list of relevant indicators, for each welfare criteria (good feeding, housing, health and behavior). From this list, the most promising animal-based indicators for on-farm welfare assessment were selected and the actions required to test their validity, feasibility, inter- and intra-observer reliability were identified. Some indicators can be collected in the home pen, but we hypothesised that some others may be collected during milking; a sampling strategy should be defined in order to gather the representation of the whole farm situation. Body condition score, panting score, kneeling, lesions/swellings, claw overgrowth, lameness, discharges, diarrhoea, abscesses, agonistic behaviour and abnormal oral behaviour have not been tested for their feasibility and reliability. Some of these indicators require to define/refine a scale and to develop a description and classification method with photographic illustrations as guideline. Lying behaviour, teats/udder abnormality, mastitis, isolated animals, snorting (sound alert) and qualitative behavioural assessment need to be better defined and fully tested. Preliminary results pointed out some doubts to include cleanliness as a reliable indicator, since goats are usually clean, but animals with wet hair need to be tested as an indicator of comfort around resting. Although shivering goats during cold season seem to be uncommon, we found some goats (probably weak animals) showing this behavior. This indicator needs further investigation. Many studies confirm the effectiveness of avoidance distance test to detect a good human-animal relationship, but we found many problems performing this test on goats. We are working to develop a valid test to show this relationship in every husbandry situation. During preliminary observations and sharing information with farmers, we found out new promising indicators that need to be completely investigated: animals with “bad hair”, probably weak animals with nutritional problems or parasitosis; waiting animals behind feeding goats, probably related to a lack of places at the feeding rack or fear of dominant animals.
Identifying promising animal-based welfare indicators in intensively bred dairy goats / M. Battini, A. Vieira, I. Ajuda, L. Grosso, S. Mattiello, G. Stilwell - In: Book of abstract : International conference on goats[s.l] : International Goat Association, 2012. - pp. 108-108 (( Intervento presentato al 11. convegno International conference on goats tenutosi a Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) nel 2012.
|Titolo:||Identifying promising animal-based welfare indicators in intensively bred dairy goats|
BATTINI, MONICA (Primo)
MATTIELLO, SILVANA (Penultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||International Goat Association (IGA)|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|