3 years ago

Interspecies comparison of daily total locomotor activity monitoring in different management conditions

The aim of this study was to compare total locomotor activity in 4 domestic species housed in different stable conditions under natural 12/12 light/dark photoperiod. The study subjects were 20 Italian saddle mares, 20 Comisana ewes, 20 Maltese goats, and 20 Holstein Friesian cattle. Two treatment groups were used, with 10 subjects for each species. The first group was housed in a 1-hectare paddock. The animals in the second group were housed in boxes. Horses were housed individually in 12-m2 boxes. Sheep and goats were housed in 2 separated common stalls of 20 m2 each. Cows were housed in a common stall of 150 m2. To record locomotor activity, an Actiwatch-Mini (Cambridge Neurotechnology Ltd., UK) was placed on each animal for 7 days. These actigraphy-based data loggers record a digitally integrated measure of motor activity. A trigonometric statistical model was used to describe the main rhythmic parameters: mesor, amplitude, acrophase, and robustness of rhythm. Analysis by the cosinor procedure indicated a daily rhythm of locomotor activity in each of the 4 species studied. A multivariate analysis of variance was applied to the circadian parameters (mesor, amplitude, acrophase, and robustness), which showed a significant effect of species and housing conditions on all rhythmic parameters. We can conclude that the influence of housing conditions on the characteristics of locomotor circadian rhythm should be taken into consideration to guarantee welfare in animal breeding.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1558787817301752

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