Eberhard von Borell

Eberhard von Borell
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg | MLU · Animal Husbandry and Ecology

Professor

About

160
Publications
27,332
Reads
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3,657
Citations
Citations since 2016
23 Research Items
1673 Citations
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Introduction
Our research work focuses on the assessment and improvement of farm animal welfare, husbandry and management. We use different methods (including ethology, physiological changes and health monitoring) to record and evaluate the influence of husbandry environment, management, genetics and individual traits on animal welfare.

Publications

Publications (160)
Article
Full-text available
Little is known on the effect of light on pig behaviour. The choice behaviour of weaned piglets kept under two different light-emitting diode (LED) illuminance levels was investigated: 32 piglets (in two batches) were housed in a preference test room composed of two identical double pen units. One side of the pen unit was permanently illuminated wi...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Angermann, E.; Raoult, C.M.C.; Wensch-Dorendorf, M.; Frenking, S.; Kemper, N.; Borell, E.v. Development of a Group-Adapted Housing System for Pregnant Sows: A Field Study on Performance and Welfare Aspects. Agriculture 2021, 11, 28. Publisher's Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institution...
Article
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Persistent rating by policy and consumers of on-farm management, nutrient use, and production and emission of greenhouse gases challenges agricultural production. Thus, models to assess and simplify the dynamic and complex workflow on agricultural farms are needed. This study had the overall objective to develop an animal module for the Excel-based...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the effect of different LED lighting colour temperatures on the preference behaviour of 4-week-old weaned piglets. A total of 32 piglets were housed in two replications in an experimental pen area with four identically equipped pen compartments connected two by two. Each pen unit offered a compartment set to a colour tempera...
Article
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For a long time, scientists assumed that newborns have a severely limited sense of pain (if any). However, this assumption is wrong and led to a “start of the exit” from piglet surgical castration. Some of the currently discussed or already implemented alternatives such as general or local anaesthesia during surgical castration raise additional wel...
Chapter
Full-text available
During their first days of postnatal life, piglets reared for meat production are often subjected to numerous husbandry practices that cause injury of sensitive tissues and hence are potential sources of pain. The intensity and duration of the pain engendered depend on the nature and magnitude of tissue damage. Each of these practices is carried ou...
Article
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Feather pecking and cannibalism are two major problems in laying hens’ husbandry. Although additional environmental enrichment materials’ (EM) supply is thought to lessen these problems, consistent evidences are lacking. This study examined the effects of EM supply (pecking stones and alfalfa bales) on biological performance, carcass composition an...
Article
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Severe feather pecking is a damaging allopecking behavior in pullets and laying hens which was found to be associated with multiple factors. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the occurrence of feather pecking could be reduced by additional environmental enrichment materials (EM; pecking stones and hard-pressed alfalfa bales) in a lit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Common feeding systems for pregnant group-housed sows meet the nutritional demand but do not sufficiently consider their natural feeding behavior. A new group-adapted ad libitum feeding system called “SWOF” (Hölscher + Leuschner GmbH & Co. KG®, Emsbüren, Germany) was developed to ensure that both optimal nutritional and behavioral needs...
Book
Full-text available
During their first days of postnatal life, piglets reared for meat production are often subjected to numerous husbandry practices that cause injury of sensitive tissues and hence are potential sources of pain. The intensity and duration of the pain engendered depend on the nature and magnitude of tissue damage. Each of these practices is carried ou...
Research
Full-text available
German version of the fact sheet published by the IPEMA core group 2019 (see www.ca-ipema.eu) The fact sheet has been published in August 2019 by the core group of COST action IPEMA (Marijke Aluwe, Ge Backus, Giuseppe Bee, Michel Bonneau (vice chair), Eberhard von Borell, Meta Candek-Potokar, Olena Doran, Maria Font-i –Furnols, Catherine Larzul, Ma...
Article
Full-text available
Severe feather pecking (SFP) is a serious problem in the egg production industry with regard to animal welfare and performance. The multifactorial causes of SFP are discussed in the areas of genetics, feeding, husbandry, stable climate and management. Several studies on the influence of manipulable material on the incidence of SFP in different envi...
Article
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Vitamin D insufficiency is prevalent worldwide. Recently, we showed that exposure of laying hens to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet B (UVB) light is an efficient strategy to increase the vitamin D content in eggs. In the current study, using 2 different chicken genotypes and stocking densities, we addressed the question of whether different UVB-...
Article
Full-text available
Farm animal welfare is a major concern for society and food production. To more accurately evaluate animal farming in general and to avoid exposing farm animals to poor welfare situations, it is necessary to understand not only their behavioural but also their cognitive needs and capacities. Thus, general knowledge of how farm animals perceive and...
Article
The aim of this study was to analyse the feeding consumption behaviour and the circadian rhythmicity of pregnant sows through an innovative ad libitum feeding system and to test if it affects the social hierarchy of a multiparous sow. In order to determine social hierarchy, some focus sows were marked with different colored signs. In the first tria...
Book
The overall objective of the COST action IPEMA is to find and disseminate general, region-specific or chain-specific solutions for the development of alternatives to surgical castration of male pigs: entire male production (EM) and immunocastration (IC). IPEMA is looking for integrated solutions taking into account meat quality (boar taint, water h...
Article
Full-text available
Castration of male domestic piglets is mainly performed to prevent unpleasant boar taint and to reduce aggression and sexual behaviour among pigs. Based on the current know­ledge that castration causes pain and suffering, castration without anaesthesia will be banned by the German animal welfare legislation by the end of 2018. This review analyses...
Article
Full-text available
Castration of male domestic piglets is mainly performed to prevent unpleasant boar taint and to reduce aggression and sexual behaviour among pigs. Based on the current knowledge that castration causes pain and suffering, castration without anaesthesia will be banned by the German animal welfare legislation by the end of 2018. This review analyses d...
Article
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Understanding human-animal interactions in livestock production systems is crucial for improving animal welfare. It is therefore of general interest to investigate how livestock animals obtain information from humans. By using an object-choice paradigm, we investigated whether domestic pigs (n = 4) are able to use a variety of human-given cues, suc...
Article
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Being able to recognise when one is being observed by someone else is thought to be adaptive during cooperative or competitive events. In particular for prey species, this ability should be of use in the context of predation. A previous study reported that goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) alter their behaviour according to the body and head orientatio...
Article
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Accurate and complete reporting of study methods, results and interpretation are essential components for any scientific process, allowing end-users to evaluate the internal and external validity of a study. When animals are used in research, excellence in reporting is expected as a matter of continued ethical acceptability of animal use in the sci...
Article
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Recently, foraging strategies have been linked to the ability to use indirect visual information. More selective feeders should express a higher aversion against losses compared to non-selective feeders and should therefore be more prone to avoid empty food locations. To extend these findings, in this study, we present a series of studies investiga...
Article
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Population-averaged and subject-specific models are available to evaluate count data when repeated observations per subject are present. The latter are also known in the literature as generalised linear mixed models (GLMM). In GLMM repeated measures are taken into account explicitly through random animal effects in the linear predictor. In this pap...
Article
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Abstract 1. Measuring the ratio of heterophils and lymphocytes (H/L) in response to different stressors is a standard tool for assessing long term stress in laying hens but detailed information on the reliability of measurements, measurement techniques and methods, and absolute cell counts is often lacking. 2. Laying hens offered different sites of...
Article
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Recent findings of Alaria alata mesocercariae in wild boars and other animals in Europe reinforced the concern about the public health risk posed by this parasite especially if the game meat is insufficiently heated during preparation. Cooking and freezing are effective methods for the inactivation of parasites in meat whereas refrigeration is cons...
Article
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Recently, comparative research on the mechanisms and species-specific adaptive values of attributing attentive states and using communicative cues has gained increased interest, particularly in non-human primates, birds, and dogs. Here, we investigate these phenomena in a farm animal species, the dwarf goat (Capra aegagrus hircus). In the first exp...
Article
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The aim of the present studies is to explain the asset of fatten anti GnRF vaccinated male swine (Improvac®) compared to the fattening of entire males. Beside the merit of an increased growth performance caused by a raised anabolic potential within puberty, challenges in the husbandry of boars are presented. The paper focuses on dietary requirement...
Article
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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different concentrations of table salt (NaCl) and ethanol (v/v) solutions on the viability of Alaria alata mesocercariae. Furthermore, the survival of A. alata mesocercariae during simulated human gastric digestion was evaluated. For this purpose, A. alata mesocercariae migration technique (AMT)...
Article
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Piglets reared in swine production in the USA undergo painful procedures that include castration, tail docking, teeth clipping, and identification with ear notching or tagging. These procedures are usually performed without pain mitigation. The objective of this project was to develop recommendations for pain mitigation in 1-to 28-day-old piglets u...
Article
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Research on the comprehension of human-given cues by domesticated as well as non-domesticated species has received considerable attention over the last decade. While several species seem to be capable of utilizing these cues, former work with domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) has shown inconclusive results. In this study, we investigated the use...
Article
Full-text available
Using a comparative approach, we investigated the ability of dwarf goats and sheep to use direct and indirect information about the location of a food reward in an object-choice task. Subjects had to choose between two cups with only one covering a reward. Before making a choice, subjects received information about the baited (direct information) o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Finding and relocating food sources is not only crucial for individuals in changing natural environments - it is also of importance in domestic animals under husbandry conditions, for instance to reduce stress when transferring animals into new housing conditions. This study makes a first attempt by investigating young pigs´ use of conflicting spat...
Preprint
Finding and relocating food sources is not only crucial for individuals in changing natural environments - it is also of importance in domestic animals under husbandry conditions, for instance to reduce stress when transferring animals into new housing conditions. This study makes a first attempt by investigating young pigs´ use of conflicting spat...
Article
Full-text available
Population-averaged and subject-specific models are available to evaluate count data when repeated observations per subject are present. The latter are also known in the literature as generalised linear mixed models (GLMM). In GLMM repeated measures are taken into account explicitly through random animal effects in the linear predictor. In this pap...
Article
Full-text available
Object permanence is the notion that objects continue to exist even when they are out of observer´s sight. This ability is adaptive not only for free ranging animals who have to cope with a dangerous and highly changeable environment, allowing them to be aware of predators sneaking in their proximity or to keep track of conspecifics or food sources...
Article
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The influence of the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers on nest use by laying hens in a commercial aviary was assessed. Twenty pens in a laying hen house were equipped with the same commercial aviary system, but the pens differed in the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers. Nests were placed along the walls in 10 pens,...
Article
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The following review emphasizes the assessment, prevention and mitigation of pain in pigs as a consequence of pathological conditions deriving from housing design and management deficiencies, abnormal behaviour as well as routine practices causing pain such as castration, teeth grinding and tail docking. Pigs indicate states of pain and stress thro...
Conference Paper
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The use of human social cues and attentive states by eleven socially housed domestic pigs (16 wks of age, 6 females) was investigated. In Experiment 1, subjects had to choose between two buckets of which one was baited, indicated by four different social cues given by the experimenter (tap, point, body orientation, head + gaze). Only three pigs fin...
Article
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Injection anaesthesia with a combination of ketamine and azaperone (K/A) is discussed as a painless alternative to commonly used non-anaesthetized castration. To protect anaesthetized piglets from being crushed, they have to be separated from the sow for 3 h following castration. The aim of this study was to test if this separation and the differen...
Article
Low rates of nest acceptance by laying hens are a major problem in commercial poultry farming operations with aviary systems, leading to costly manual collection and cleaning of mislaid eggs. To gain knowledge about factors affecting nest use, laying hens’ preferences for different nest locations were tested. Nests are normally installed at one of...
Article
Full-text available
Physical castration of male piglets is common practice in many countries for the control of boar taint. A vaccine against GnRF (Improvac®) is licensed in Europe as an alternative to this painful procedure. Vaccinated pigs are known to behave like entire males up to the second vaccination, exhibiting more aggressive behaviour towards each other, whi...
Article
Full-text available
Plumage damage scores (PDS) were assessed in laying hens of 2 genotypes (Lohmann Tradition and Lohmann Silver) at the 45th and 70th weeks of age, with scores ranging from zero (no damage) to 6 (completely denuded). This ordinally scaled categorical characteristic was recorded from different body regions of 365 hens that had experienced different ho...
Article
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Adipose tissue (AT) expresses adipokines, which are involved in the regulation of energy expenditure, lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Visceral (v.c.) and subcutaneous (s.c.) depots largely differ concerning their metabolic characteristics as to the control of lipolysis and the sensitivity to insulin. The adipokines adiponectin, leptin and...
Article
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This paper constitutes a review on the welfare aspects of piglet castration that considers the scientific literature published after 2004. Castrating during the neonatal period (1 to 3 days of age) is clearly painful. In addition, inflammatory processes may take place at the sites of incision, thus adding further pain to the procedure. Surgical cas...
Article
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Previous studies have shown that the analysis of high frequency stress calls in pigs can serve as a reliable tool in welfare research. Our study focuses on the classification of three different classes of piglet vocalisation: grunting, squealing and screaming. In a castration experiment (Experiment 1), 3,285 vocalisations from 42 piglets were analy...
Article
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Twenty German pig units (grower and finisher) of different sizes were checked for animal health and welfare standards based on the concept of Critical Control Points (CCP). Special emphasis was put on building design, climatic conditions, management, animal hygiene and health status. None of the pig units fulfilled all control points. The greatest...
Article
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The paper summarises basic and applied research on the outdoor housing of calves based on physiological requirements during outdoor climate conditions and its consequences for housing construction details and animal health. Individual and group housing systems are compared in this regard. The year around outdoor housing offers a variety of environm...
Article
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1. The effect of the presence of loose feathers (on the floor) on the behaviour and plumage condition of laying hens (Lohmann Silver, LS) was studied during the rearing and laying periods.2. From one day old, 60 birds in each of 4 straw-bedded pens (n = 240 in total) with 6·5 birds/m2 were either kept under conventional rearing and management condi...
Article
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Most of the male piglets in the EU are castrated. According to the current EU legislation, surgical castration can be performed without anaesthesia up to the age of 7 days. A report of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the welfare aspects in relation to the castration of pigs has underlined the need for further research. As a follow up,...