INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Behavioral responses to short-term transport in male and female Greater rheas (Rhea 7 americana) reared in captivity
DELLA COSTA, N. S.; LECHE A.; GUZMAN D. A.; NAVARRO, J. L.; MARIN R. H.; MARTELLA M. B.
POULTRY SCIENCE ASSOC INC
Año: 2013 vol. 92 p. 849 - 849
Animal transport is an indispensable practice in species that need to be moved formanagement or commercial purposes. However, transport may have negative effects on individuals? welfare. The aims of the present work were to determine if the behavioral responses of adult Greater rheas (Rhea americana) bred in captivity are sensitive to short-term transport and if males and females differ in their post-transport behavioral activity and recovery. Eight males and eight females were placed in individual pens and allowed 6 days to habituate (Days 1-6) before transport procedure. On the transport day (Day 7), half of the animals (four males and four females) were randomly assigned to a transport group that was captured and handled to be placed into the crates, exposed to a 30-min transport stressor and immediately returned to their pens. Four transports with 1 different male and female each time were performed. The other half remained undisturbed and was used as control. Behavior of all individuals was video-recorded during habituation days, after transport on Day 7 and on the two following days (Days 8 and 9) to evaluate pre- and post-transport behavioral activity for 2 hours per day. No significant behavioral changes were observed during the last two days of the habituation period (Days 5 and 6), suggesting that Greater rheas were adapted to the housing conditions before transport. After transportation, several behaviors were affected: transported males and females showed null resting, transported females also showed reduced preening and increased vigilance (P < 0.05), whereas transported males showed increased drinking (P < 0.05), compared to their respective control groups. The results suggest that behavioral responses of captive-bred Greater rheas are sensitive to short-term transport (which includes handling) and that male and female differ in their post-transport behavioral activity, recovering their overall basal levels on the third day post-transportation.