Understanding the relationships among animal behavior, physiology, productivity, and affective state can enhance livestock management practices that promote good welfare. Most of the animal behavior research at Texas A&M is “applied ethology,” where the behavior of animals that are under the control of people is evaluated and then linked to some aspect of production efficiency, stress, or welfare. Some of our studies are also relatively basic, dealing with issues such as cognition, perception, and measurement of stress.
A graduate program is available in animal behavior, and undergraduate students interested in animal behavior have multiple opportunities to become involved in behavior and welfare research as well as learning how to use technology to objectively and efficiently use behavior as a management tool and proxy for individual animal welfare. An undergraduate course in the Behavior and Management of Domestic species gives students the knowledge and skill development needed to management agricultural animals.