Michael J. Toscano
University of Bern
Animal scienceLayingMedicineBiologyKeel
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Publications 84
#1Elena A. Armstrong (Newcastle University)H-Index: 2
#2Christina Barbara Rufener (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 3
Last. Tom V. Smulders (Newcastle University)H-Index: 22
view all 8 authors...
In commercial flocks of laying hens, keel bone fractures (KBFs) are prevalent and associated with behavioural indicators of pain. However, whether their impact is severe enough to induce a depressive-like state of chronic stress is unknown. As chronic stress downregulates adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in mammals and birds, we employ this measure as a neural biomarker of subjective welfare state. Radiographs obtained longitudinally from Lohmann Brown laying hens housed in a commercial mult...
#1Sydney L Baker (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 1
#2C.I. Robison (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 5
Last. M. M. Makagon (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 10
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ABSTRACT Factors contributing to the development of keel bone damage are not well understood. This study aimed to identify behaviors and cage structures associated with acceleration events experienced by individual hens at their keels as the birds navigated their enriched colony cage environments. Additionally, we aimed to characterize the accelerations associated with these behaviors, as we postulated that behaviors associated with higher accelerations may be more likely to lead to keel bone da...
#1S.S. MacLachlan (MSU: Michigan State University)
#2Ahmed B.A. Ali (Clemson University)H-Index: 5
Last. Janice M. Siegford (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 16
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ABSTRACT Aviaries provide hens with many resources, but birds must develop motor and cognitive skills to use them properly. Introducing birds to aviaries at older ages has been reported to result in less use of perches, nests, and vertical space, which can reduce productivity and hen welfare. The objectives of this study were to examine (1) how enrichment influenced distribution of hens in the aviary during the day and (2) how enrichment influenced the distribution and roosting substrate of bird...
#1B A Ali (Clemson University)
#2Michael J. Toscano (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 18
Last. Janice M. Siegford (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 16
view all 3 authors...
Tiered aviaries are intended to improve laying hen welfare by providing resources that enable them to perform essential behaviors. However, hens must be able to navigate these complex systems efficiently and safely. This study investigated the influence of providing perches and nests starting at 17 or 25 wk of age (WOA) on hens’ use of vertical space in an aviary at 36 and 54 WOA. Three treatments were applied to pullets raised in floor pens until 17 WOA (4 units/treatment; 100 hens/unit). Contr...
#1Mia Fernyhough (Royal Society)
#2Christine J. Nicol (Lond: University of London)
Last. Morten Tønnessen (University of Stavanger)H-Index: 6
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Despite societal concerns about the welfare of commercial laying hens, little attention has been paid to the welfare implications of the choices made by the genetics companies involved with their breeding. These choices regarding trait selection and other aspects of breeding significantly affect living conditions for the more than 7 billion laying hens in the world. However, these companies must consider a number of different commercial and societal interests, beyond animal welfare concerns. In ...
#1Aline R. SteinerH-Index: 1
Last. Thomas C. GentH-Index: 9
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The use of carbon dioxide (CO2) for stunning and killing animals is considered to compromise welfare due to air hunger, anxiety, fear, and pain. Despite decades of research, no alternatives have so far been found that provide a safe and reliable way to induce unconsciousness in groups of animals, and also cause less distress than CO2. Here, we revisit the current and historical literature to identify key research questions that may lead to the identification and implementation of more humane alt...
1 CitationsSource
#1Christina Rufener (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Last. Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
view all 7 authors...
Abstract Keel bone fractures (KBF) in laying hens have been shown to cause pain and impair mobility under experimental conditions. However, it is not known how KBF relates to the mobility of individual hens housed in aviary systems. For the current study, 120 focal hens (60 Lohmann Brown (LB) and 60 Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL)) were kept in six identical pens equipped with a commercially relevant aviary system (20 LSL focal hens + 205 LB or 20 LB focal hens + 205 LSL per pen, respectively). D...
#1Ana Katinka Rentsch (University of Bern)
#2Christina Barbara Rufener (University of Bern)H-Index: 3
Last. Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
view all 5 authors...
Abstract Keel bone fractures (KBF) in laying hens pose a severe problem for animal welfare as they are likely to be associated with pain and suffering. Furthermore, they are suspected to hinder or restrict hens in their performance of natural species-specific behaviour. The aim of this study was to determine whether KBF affect laying hen behaviour in a non-cage system and whether this alteration is caused by pain. Forty Brown Nick and 40 Nick Chick hens were individually marked, and video record...
#1Christina Barbara Rufener (University of Bern)H-Index: 3
#2Sarah Dorothea Baur (University of Bern)H-Index: 2
Last. Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
view all 4 authors...
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of keel bone fracture (KBF) severity and healing activity on individual productivity of laying hens. Focal hens (75 Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL), 75 Lohmann Brown (LB)) were housed alongside non-focal hens in 10 identical pens containing a commercial aviary system (15 focal hens per pen). Eggs of focal hens were identified by orally administering a dye on 3 consecutive days, resulting in a hen-specific color pattern in the yolk. Eggs were col...
2 CitationsSource
#1Esther D. EllenH-Index: 16
Last. T.B. RodenburgH-Index: 31
view all 15 authors...
Damaging behaviors, like feather pecking (FP), have large economic and welfare consequences in the commercial laying hen industry. Selective breeding can be used to obtain animals that are less likely to perform damaging behavior on their pen-mates. However, with the growing tendency to keep birds in large groups, identifying specific birds that are performing or receiving FP is difficult. With current developments in sensor technologies, it may now be possible to identify laying hens in large g...
1 CitationsSource