Mirror Reduces Stress and Increases Animal Happiness.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are looking for ways to improve housing for farm animals, including pigs. Enhancing the animals’ environment can help reduce stress, which in turn can improve growth and efficiency and decrease disease susceptibility.According to the World Organization for Animal Health, animal diseases cause losses of at least 20 percent in livestock production globally. That represents more than 60 million tons of meat and more than 150 million tons of milk—valued at around $300 billion per year. At the ARS Livestock Behavior Research Unit in West Lafayette, Indiana, scientists study animal behavior, stress, immunity, and other factors related to animal well-being and productivity. To find ways to improve pigs’ well-being and productivity, animal scientist Jeremy Marchant-Forde, former Purdue University graduate student Shelly DeBoer, and their colleagues examined the types of pens in which the animals spent most of their time. In the study, pigs had access to a standard rectangular pen with a metal floor and solid sides (the “control” pen, used for comparison), a pen with a rubber mat on the floor, another with a mirror on the wall, and a fourth that had a barred gate with a view of another pig across a passageway. “Pigs preferred to spend a

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One thought on “Mirror Reduces Stress and Increases Animal Happiness.

  1. We put a 2 liter bottle of warm water in with baby kittens while their mother was out hunting.

    Maybe one off but we also put wooden eggs in the hen nests to stimulate laying and keep the girls from laying somewhere else. It had the added benefit of giving snakes a terminal tummy ache if they got that egg.

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