Bas Rodenburg

Bas Rodenburg
Utrecht University | UU · Department of Animals in Science and Society (DASS)

PhD

About

237
Publications
51,783
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,184
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - present
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (237)
Article
Full-text available
In free-range and organic production systems, hens can make choices according to their needs and desires, which is in accordance with welfare definitions. Nonetheless, health and behavioral problems are also encountered in these systems. The aim of this article was to identify welfare challenges observed in these production systems in the EU and th...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 16L:8D photoperiod with green (GREEN) or white (WHITE) lights during incubation on hatching performance, blood melatonin, corticosterone, and serotonin levels, hypothalamic expressions of genes related to photoreception, serotonin, and stress systems in layers in relation with feather pecking beha...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience could be referred to as the animal’s ability to successfully adapt to a challenge. This is typically displayed by a quick return to initial metabolic or activity levels and behaviors. Pigs have distinct diurnal activity patterns. Deviations from these patterns could potentially be utilized to quantify resilience. However, human observati...
Article
Fast-growing broilers are relatively inactive and this is thought to be a result of selection for high growth rates. This reduced activity level is considered a major cause of leg weakness and associated leg health problems. Increased activity, especially early in life, is suggested to have positive effects on leg health, but the relationship betwe...
Article
Full-text available
Due to its novelty and lack of empirical study it remains unclear if a service dog truly mitigates the burden of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. To cross sectionally investigate the effect of service dogs on veterans and first aid responders with PTSD, we studied subjective and physiological parameters in 65 individuals divided over...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the impact of social and environmental enrichment on improving livestock resilience, i.e. the ability to quickly recover from perturbations. We evaluated the effect of an alternative housing system (AHS) on resilience of pigs, as compared to conventional housing (CONV). The AHS consisted of multi-litter housing during lactatio...
Article
Full-text available
Since the ban in January 2012 of conventional cages for egg production in the European Union (Council Directive 1999/74/EC), alternative systems such as floor, aviary, free-range, and organic systems have become increasingly common, reaching 50% of housing for hens in 2019. Despite the many advantages associated with non-cage systems, the shift to...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout the world, most laying hens producing eggs for human consumption are still kept in small, wire battery cages. Ethologists have well documented the behavioural needs of hens, and the way that battery cage confinement thwarts highly motivated behaviour and reduces hens’ quality of life. While cage-free alternatives are now being used aroun...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience, the capacity of animals to be minimally affected by a disturbance or to rapidly bounce back to the state before the challenge, may be improved by enrichment, but negatively impacted by a high allostatic load from stressful management procedures in pigs. We investigated the combined effects of diverging environmental conditions from wean...
Research
Full-text available
This report examines the effectiveness and animal welfare aspects of drowning traps for the control of harmful wild rodents, with special attention to the Ekomille or EKO1000 trap. The conclusion is that such systems can be effective in certain situations, but that the welfare impact of the Ekomille is estimated to be severe to extreme. This is b...
Article
Service dogs are trained to assist humans. This assistance potentially exposes them to stressors To investigate if service dogs are exposed to more stressors than companion dogs we questioned whether hair cortisol levels differed between both groups. We studied this by cutting a tuft of hair from the neck of 19 companion and 11 service dogs. Cortis...
Article
Full-text available
To start milk production, dairy goats need to give birth at least once. While most female kids are reared to become the next generation of dairy goats, only a small proportion of male kids (buck kids) are reared with reproduction aims. The market for buck kid meat, especially within Northern European countries, is currently relatively small compare...
Article
Full-text available
Injurious pecking (IP) represents a serious concern for the welfare of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus). The risk of IP among hens with intact beaks in cage-free housing prompts a need for solutions based on an understanding of underlying mechanisms. In this review, we explore how behavioural programming via prenatal and early postnatal envir...
Article
Full-text available
The use of insects in animal feed has the potential to reduce the demand for soybean production and reduce the deforestation and loss of natural resources. In particular, the black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens) larvae has received attention due to their ability to convert organic waste into high-value biomass. Several studies have investigat...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, a data driven approach was used by applying linear regression and machine learning methods to understand animal related and environmental factors affecting hatchability. Data was obtained from a parent stock and grand-parent stock hatchery, including 1737 batches of eggs incubated in the years 2010-2018. Animal related factors taken...
Article
Full-text available
Gait, or walking ability, is an often-measured trait in broilers. Individual gait scores are generally determined manually, which can be time-consuming and subjective. Automated methods of scoring gait are available, but are often implemented at the group level. However, there is an interest in automated methods of scoring gait at the individual le...
Article
Full-text available
Modern welfare definitions not only require that the Five Freedoms are met, but animals should also be able to adapt to changes (i. e., resilience) and reach a state that the animals experience as positive. Measuring resilience is challenging since relatively subtle changes in animal behavior need to be observed 24/7. Changes in individual activity...
Article
Full-text available
Only a few studies have investigated the welfare of animals participating in animal-assisted interventions (AAIs). Most of these studies focus on dogs in therapeutic settings. There are, however, also dogs—service dogs—that are employed to continuously support a single human. Because the welfare of these service dogs is important for the sustainabi...
Article
Feather pecking represents a serious problem in the poultry industry that can negatively affect production as well as the welfare of laying hens. Although feather pecking has been studied from many different angles, there are only a few studies of the relationship between feather pecking and cognition. This study aims to compare the cognitive perfo...
Chapter
This book provides practical information about interdisciplinary research, particularly to students and researchers of animal behaviour, animal welfare and veterinary sciences, to better understand how the integration of disciplines can advance animal welfare science. The book is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 gives guidance on how interdisciplinary...
Article
Full-text available
European farms for broiler breeders often have raised slatted areas in front of the nests, but in other regions of the world no raised slatted areas are provided. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a raised slatted area on leg health, mating behaviour and floor laying behaviour. Ten groups of 33 broiler breeder hens and three males were...
Article
Full-text available
Broiler chicks usually hatch in the hatchery without access to feed and water until placement at the farm. This can affect their health and welfare negatively. Therefore, alternative strategies have been developed, for instance providing chicks with early nutrition in the hatchery or hatching eggs directly on-farm. However, information on the physi...
Article
Full-text available
Gregarious nesting has often been observed in laying hens, where hens prefer to visit a nest already occupied by other hens over empty nests. This may result in overcrowding of the nests which is considered a welfare issue and, moreover, can increase the economic issue of floor eggs. This study aimed to describe gregarious nesting and spatial behav...
Article
Full-text available
In on-farm hatching systems, eggs are transported at day 18 of incubation to the broiler farm, where chickens have immediately access to feed and water after hatching. In hatchery-fed systems, newly hatched chickens have immediately access to feed and water in the hatchery and are transported to the farm thereafter. Conventionally hatched chickens...
Article
Full-text available
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, shows alternatives for cage housing of laying hens and sows in particular. Cage-free housing has a positive effect on the behavioural freedom of animals and welfare of animals. No major proble...
Article
Full-text available
During automated processing in commercial hatcheries, day-old chicks are subjected to a range of possible mental and physical stressors. Three determinants of the processing line seem to have the potential to affect the birds in particular: drop height from one conveyor belt to another, conveyor belt speed, and acceleration. The aim of this study w...
Article
Full-text available
Individual data are valuable for assessing the health, welfare and performance of broilers. In particular, data on the first few days of life are needed to study the predictive value of traits recorded early in life for later life performance. However, broilers are generally kept in groups, which hampers individual identification and monitoring of...
Article
Full-text available
Pigs are faced with various perturbations throughout their lives, some of which are induced by management practices, others by natural causes. Resilience is described as the ability to recover from or cope with a perturbation. Using these data, activity patterns of an individual, as well as deviations from these patterns, can potentially be used to...
Article
Full-text available
Contact dermatitis, both on the foot pads and hocks, is a well-known health issue in broilers. Less is known about contact dermatitis in broiler breeders, however, although they have many risk factors for developing leg health problems in common with broilers. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and severity of contact dermatitis during the...
Article
Full-text available
Gut microbiota influences host behaviour and physiology, such as anxiety, stress, serotonergic and immune systems. These behavioural and physiological characteristics are related to feather pecking (FP), a damaging behaviour in chickens that reduces animal welfare and productivity. Moreover, high FP (HFP) and low FP (LFP) lines differed in microbio...
Article
Full-text available
Simple Summary: Dual purpose chickens are one solution to the killing of male day-old chickens from the layer strains. However, modern laying hen husbandry faces further challenges, for instance, the frequent occurrence of injurious pecking. This behavior is seen as a sign of stress in the offending birds, it causes pain and damage in the victims,...
Article
It is crucial to identify whether relations between immune characteristics and damaging behaviors in production animals exist, as these behaviors reduce animal welfare and productivity. Feather pecking (FP) is a damaging behavior in chickens, which involves hens pecking and pulling at feathers of conspecifics. To further identify relationships betw...
Article
Full-text available
Individual data on activity of broilers is valuable, as activity may serve as a proxy for multiple health, welfare and performance indicators. However, broilers are often kept in large groups, which makes it difficult to identify and monitor them individually. Sensor technologies might offer solutions. Here, an ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking system...
Article
Full-text available
Feather pecking (FP), a damaging behavior where laying hens peck and pull at feathers of conspecifics, is multifactorial and has been linked to numerous behavioral and physiological characteristics. The gut microbiota has been shown to influence host behavior and physiology in many species, and could therefore affect the development of damaging beh...
Article
Full-text available
The Monash Dog–Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS) is a questionnaire that is used to evaluate the perceived relationship between humans and their dog. This questionnaire was originally only formulated and validated in English, which limits its use among non-English speaking individuals. Although a translation could be made, the translation of questio...
Article
Full-text available
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 ar...
Article
Planting short rotation coppice willows (SRCW) in chickens’ free-range areas could have several advantages for the chickens, environment and farmer. Our aim was to test the effects of combining SRCW and chickens on free-range use, soil conditions and SRCW growth. A free-range chicken area was partially planted with a grass/clover mixture, and parti...
Article
Full-text available
The therapeutic application of human–animal interaction has gained interest recently. One form this interest takes is the use of service dogs as complementary treatment for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many reports on the positive effect of PTSD Service Dogs (PSDs) on veterans exist, though most are indirect, anecdotal, or b...
Article
This paper focuses on systems producing short rotation coppice willows (SRCW) in chickens’ free-range areas. We aim to map chicken farmers’ motivation to implement SRCW, and to assess the economic viability of these systems. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 free-range chicken farmers. Farmers agreed that chickens would prefer SRCW...
Article
Feather pecking (FP), a serious welfare and economic issue in the egg production industry, has been related to coping style. Proactive and reactive coping styles differ in, among others, the stress response, serotonergic activity and immune activity. Yet, it is unknown whether genetic lines divergently selected on FP (i.e. FP genotypes) or individu...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate assessment is essential when evaluating keel bone damage. Palpation is commonly used to assess keel bone damage in living hens. However, there is little information on the accuracy of assessment of deviations and fractures on different parts of the keel, and on the consistency within, and agreement between, assessors. Crucially, although t...
Article
Feather pecking (FP) is a major welfare and economic issue in the egg production industry. Behavioural characteristics, such as fearfulness, have been related to FP. However, it is unknown how divergent selection on FP affects fearfulness in comparison to no selection on FP. Therefore, we compared responses of birds selected on low (LFP) and high f...
Article
Full-text available
While it has been shown that epigenetics accounts for a portion of the variability of complex traits linked to interactions with the environment, the real contribution of epigenetics to phenotypic variation remains to be assessed. In recent years, a growing number of studies have revealed that epigenetic modifications can be transmitted across gene...
Article
Full-text available
To ensure animal welfare isn't compromised when using virtual fencing, animals must be able to associate a benign conditioned stimulus with an aversive stimulus. This study used an associative learning test to train 30, four-year-old, Merino x Suffolk ewes, to associate an audio cue with an electric stimulus. Collars manually controlled by a GPS ha...
Article
To track and monitor individual animals in groups, it is possible to use radiofrequency identification (RFID) systems. RFID encompasses all wireless communication systems that use radiofrequency fields [1]. RFID systems consist of tags and readers [2]. The tags contain unique identification data and can be attached to the item or, in the proposed a...
Article
Full-text available
Broiler chickens often make limited use of the free-range area. Range use is influenced by type of shelter available. Range use may possibly be improved by a more gradual transition from the house to the range and by using dark brooders (secluded warm, dark areas in the home pen) that mimic aspects of a broody hen and possibly reduce fearfulness. T...
Article
Free-range use in chickens is often suboptimal, and the full potential of outdoor access for chicken welfare may not be achieved. Many studies use visual observations of free-range use, imposing several limitations. An automated system capable of continuously monitoring the location of multiple individual birds over a long time period has the poten...
Article
Automated tracking of the location of individual chickens is becoming more common in behavioural research. This technology has several advantages including gathering large amounts of data and monitoring of individual animals as opposed to flocks. To ensure the quality of the research the transmitters or tags attached to the bird as part of the auto...
Chapter
Genetic selection for highly efficient, fast-growing broilers has had negative effects on broiler welfare, and the high stocking densities used in some broiler production systems also have a negative impact on welfare. This chapter examines the welfare problems arising from these two factors, and reviews how both factors have been addressed within...
Article
Full-text available
High fearfulness could disrupt learning and likely affects judgment in animals, especially when it is part of an animals’ personality, i.e., trait anxiety. Here, we tested whether high fearfulness affects discrimination learning and judgment bias (JB) in laying hens. Based on the response to an open field at 5 weeks of age, birds were categorized a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abbreviated Title: Feather pecking and immunity Summary The laying hen industry aims to improve general disease resistance of laying hens. Genetic selection for increased natural antibody (NAb) levels is a promising strategy, because Nab levels are related to survival and are heritable in chickens. However, selection for increased NAb levels may in...
Article
Full-text available
To sustainably contribute to food security of a growing and richer world population, livestock production systems are challenged to increase production levels while reducing environmental impact, being economically viable, and socially responsible. Knowledge about the sustainability performance of current livestock production systems may help to fo...
Article
After-effects of events that elicit an emotional state on both the animals that experienced these events and on their group members have only scarcely been studied. We investigated effects of a positive vs. negative treatment on the behaviour and emotional state of pigs and their naive pen mates afterwards. Behaviour of 96 pigs was observed in the...
Article
Injurious pecking, including feather pecking (FP), is one of the most prevalent causes of mortality for commercial laying hens. The underlying biological mechanisms of FP are not yet fully understood, but they could be related to alterations in the serotonin (5-HT) and/or dopamine (DA) circuits within the brain. In the past, the central synthesis o...
Article
Exaggerated fear-reactions are associated with injurious flying, smothering, feather pecking and other events that compromise animal welfare in laying hens. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that chicks with access to litter during the first five weeks of life would be less fearful as adult hens compared to birds reared without acces...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The COST Action GroupHouseNet focuses on the reduction of damaging behaviour in laying hens and pigs, benefiting from the fact that there are many similarities in causation and solutions for feather pecking and tail biting. The research in the network focuses on three main topics, addressed by the three working groups: 1) Genetics and damaging beha...
Article
p>The European COST Action GroupHouseNet aims to provide synergy for preventing damaging behaviour in group-housed pigs and laying hens. One area of focus of this network is how genetic and genomic tools can be used to breed animals that are less likely to develop damaging behaviour to their pen-mates. When focussing on laying hens, one of the main...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The objective of this presentation is to introduce the ISAE and to highlight members’ roles in the development and implementation of OIE’s animal welfare standards. Animal welfare science is a young discipline. Originally, welfare science was heavily focused on animal behavior (ethology), but it is now interdisciplinary, encompassing ethology, phys...