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Effect of different management systems on rutting behavior and behavioral repertoire of housed Maghrebi male camels (Camelus dromedarius).

Abstract : Camel management has been changing in recent years from an extensive to a semi-intensive or intensive system, particularly for breeding bulls and dairy dromedary camels. Captivity may affect animal welfare, and low libido is the major complaint for housed breeding bulls. Since welfare status could also affect reproductive performance, the aim of this study was to evaluate different management practices on behavior, particularly on sexual behavior, and to identify some behavioral needs of male dromedary camels reared for semen collection. The effects of the following management systems on their behavior were compared: (i) traditional: housing in a single stall for 24 h (H24), (ii) housing in a single stall for 23 h with 1 h free in the paddock (H23), and (iii) housing in a single stall for 22 h and 30 min with 1 h paddock time and 30 min exposure to a female camel herd (ExF). During the trial, blood cortisol concentrations were assessed and camels were filmed daily for 30 min in the mornings and during a female passage in the evenings. Videos were analyzed in order to fill out a focal sampling ethogram and to score sexual behavior. As a result, there were no differences between the H24 and H23 systems, whereas ExF had a significant positive impact on their sexual behavior score and behavioral repertoire, further reducing cortisol levels. Overall, it seems that male dromedary camel welfare status improves when their behavioral needs for social interaction and movement are satisfied.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 26, 2014 - 4:04:04 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 4:53:25 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 10:50:22 AM

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Meriem Fatnassi, Barbara Padalino, Davide Monaco, Lydiane Aubé, Touhami Khorchani, et al.. Effect of different management systems on rutting behavior and behavioral repertoire of housed Maghrebi male camels (Camelus dromedarius).. Tropical Animal Health and Production, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2014, 46 (5), pp.861-7. ⟨10.1007/s11250-014-0577-6⟩. ⟨hal-01068726⟩

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