Working with animals in scientific research is a necessity that many modern researchers cannot ignore. From behavior studies to the creation of animal models, the use of animals can penetrate a broad range of scientific disciplines. The work itself is often pleasurable for both researcher and participant but unfortunately, poses several challenges that can slow down experimental progress. One critical problem, seen in egg-laying hens (laying hens), is their reluctance toward being handled by humans.
In this study, conducted by Dr. Audrey Elias and Dr. Alexandra Harlander, we aim to understand the biomechanics of laying hen movement better. Part of this study requires the transfer of the hens from their home pen to a test room; this task is often accomplished by handling the birds and bringing them to the test room against their desire to remain in their pen. The following video highlights the opposite, however. In it Rahul (Co-op student pictured ) has taught the hens to follow him to the test room, avoiding the need to handle said birds. Not only does this demonstrate the capacity a hen has to learn but also the capacity it has to trust. From a commercial aviary where she had limited human contact, it appears that she has gained a level of comfort with people that we would expect to be reserved only for domestic pets. Observing her cooperativity has been a rewarding experience for all researchers involved and truly highlights how treating an animal with respect and care can lead to amazing results.
News & Announcements
- 2017 ASAS Companion Animal Graduate Student Oral Presentation Winner Cara Cargo-Froom!
- The Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) Young Scientist Award Winner is Angela Cánovas!
- The Poultry Science Association Announces Its 2017 Award Winners - Gregoy Bedecarrats and Haley Leung
- Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Provides Funding for University of Guelph's Better Chicken Welfare Study
- Interview with an Animal Biology student
- Graduate Student Exercise Science Competition Winner at the Equine Science Society Symposium
- Professor Larry Schaeffer awarded ‘Doctor Honoris Causa’