Showing posts from March, 2012

How can you tell your sheep is happy?

Have you ever wondered how you can tell how your sheep feels? Observing the emotions of sheep can be really difficult because sheep tend not to express a lot of emotions. This is probably advantageous for the sheep because they are prey animals, and giving away that they are scared, in pain or sick could make them an easy target for predators. However, the fact that they don’t show many signs of emotions doesn’t mean that they do not experience them, although it can be very difficult for their owners to get insight into their emotional state.  People generally express their emotions by body postures and facial expressions (among other means).  For example, a smile generally means that someone is happy (positive state) while a frown may indicate that someone is angry (negative state). Other mammalian animals also use facial expressions of emotions; monkeys and rats can express both pleasure and disgust. Such facial expressions are also very important in communica

Cognitive enrichment for intensively farmed pigs

Would you like to play with pigs to enrich their environment and stimulate their cognitive abilities?  Researchers from Wageningen University and artists from the Utrecht School of Arts have developed a game that allows humans and pigs to play together in a virtual world. The humans control a ball of light displayed on a touch screen in the pig stalls via their iPhones or iPads. The pigs are supposed to touch the ball with their snouts and then get rewarded with colourful sparkles showing on the screen. The persons playing the game can also see the pigs’ snouts on their screens. When the humans and pigs play in harmony, the ball erupts into a bright colourful firework. But when the human and pigs loose contact, the ball slowly fizzles out.   Unfortunately, the game is not available yet, but the developers are working on realizing it! For more information see: Subscribe Built with ConvertKit