Donald Lay, Jr.

 

Donald Lay's Main Page

Research Program

Five areas of expertise stand out as demonstrating the high degree of originality of Dr. Lay's research program: 1) work on pre-natal stress, 2) maternal behavior of sows, 3) work on Salmonella infection in swine, 4) measuring subjective states using operant conditioning, and 5) developing a novel method of assessing stress using heart rate variability.

1) "Prenatal" stress is a phenomenon that occurs when a pregnant animal is stressed and this in some way alters the behavior and the physiology of her offspring. Originally, this field used rodents as a model for humans. Before Dr. Lay initiated work on pre-natal stress in cattle and then later in swine, only one paper had been published in livestock. Recently, researchers in Germany, Holland, and Scotland have published or are conducting research on prenatal stress in swine.

2) Dr. Lay also demonstrated originality by initiating work on an exotic breed of swine, called Meishan. Meishans have been reported to be excellent mothers, crushing few if any of their offspring. Dr. Lay found that Meishans are more attentive toward their piglets and lie down in a rapid vertical fashion as compared to production sows. These character differences can allow future work to progress in selecting sows that kill few of their own offspring. With the same goal in mind of decreasing piglet crushing, the incumbent designed and tested a "simulated udder" to more effectively draw piglets to a safe area.

3) Dr. Lay work on Salmonella infection in swine discovered that the bacteria can monitor their host using the host's hormones and optimize their infection. In addition, in a collaborative project a novel technique using biophotonics to detect the incidence of Salmonella was developed.

4) The difficulty of studying subjective states is that by definition they can not be quantified. Using operant conditioning techniques the incumbent turned feelings of hunger into quantifiable data in the form of number of pecks for hens and amount of weight pushed for swine in order to assess states of hunger.

5) Dr. Lay has recently been working to develop a novel method to assess stress using heart rate variability.

Selected Publications

  1. Lay Jr., D. C. and M. E. Wilson. 2002. Development of the chicken as a model for prenatal stress. J. Anim. Sci. 80(7):1954-1961.

  2. Lay Jr., D. C., R. L. Matteri, J. A. Carroll, T. J. Fangman, and T. J. Safranski. 2002. Preweaning survival in swine. J. Anim. Sci. 80(1):1-13.

  3. Sherwin, C. M., S. B. Christiansen, I. J. Duncan, H. Erhard, D.C. Lay Jr., J. A. Mench, C. O'Connor, and C. Petherick. 2003. Guidelines for the ethical use of animals in applied ethology studies. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 81: 291-305.

  4. Marchant-Forde, J. N., D. C. Lay Jr., B. T. Richert, and E. A. Pajor. 2003. The effects of ractopamine on behavior and physiology of finishing pigs. J. Anim. Sci.81:416-422.

  5. Lay Jr., D.C. and M.E. Wilson. 2004. Considerations when using physiological data in assessing animal well-being. Anim. and Vet. Adv. 3(9):626-629.

  6. Toscano, M.J., and D.C. Lay Jr. 2005. Parsing the characteristics of a simulated udder to determine relative attractiveness to piglets in the 72 h following parturition. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 92:283-291.

  7. Willard, S.T., D.C. Lay Jr., T. Friend, D. Neuendorff, and R. Randel. 2005. Plasma progesterone response following ACTH administration during mid-gestation in the pregnant Brahman heifer. Therio. 63:1061-1069.

  8. Koch, J.M., J.S. Moritz, D.C. Lay Jr., and M.E. Wilson. 2005. Melengestrol Acetate in Experimental Diets as an Effective alternative to induce a decline in egg production and reversible regression of the reproductive tract in laying hens 1. Determining an effective concentration of melengestrol acetate. Poult. Sci. 84:1750-1756.

  9. Koch, J.M., J.S. Moritz, D.L. Smith, D.C. Lay Jr., and M.E. Wilson. 2005. Melengestrol acetate as an effective alternative to induce a decline in egg production and reversible regression of the reproductive tract in laying hens II. Effects on post-molt egg quality. Poult. Sci. 84:1757-1762.

  10. Toscano, M.J., T.J. Stabel, D.C. Lay Jr., S.D. Bearson, and B.L. Bearson. 2005. Cultivation of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in a norepinephrine-containing medium alters in vivo tissue prevalence in swine. J. Exp. Anim. Sci. 43(4):329-338.

  11. Sorrells, A.D., S.D. Eicher, K.A. Scott, M.J. Harris, E.A. Pajor, D.C. Lay Jr., and B.T. Richert. 2006. Post-natal behavioral and physiological responses of piglets from gilts housed individually or in groups during gestation. J. Anim. Sci. 84:757-766.

  12. Moulton, K., F. Lovell, E. Williams, P. Ryan, D.C. Lay Jr., D. Janse, and S. Willard. 2006. Use of glycerol as an optical clearing agent for enhancing photonic transference and detection of Salmonella typhimurium through porcine skin. J. Biomed. Optics. 11(5):054027-1 – 054027-8.

  13. Toscano, M.J., D.C. Lay, Jr., B.A. Craig, and E.A. Pajor. 2007. Assessing the adaptation of swine to 57 hours of feed deprivation in terms of behavioral and physiological responses. J. Anim. Sci. 85:441-451.

  14. Toscano, M.J., T.J. Stable, S.M.D. Bearson, B.L. Bearson, and D.C. Lay, Jr. 2007. Cultivation of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in a norepinephrine-containing medium alters in vivo tissue prevalence in swine. J. Exp. Anim. Sci. 43(4):329-338.

  15. Koch, J.M., D.C. Lay Jr., K.A. McMunn, J.S. Moritz, and M.E. Wilson. 2007. Motivation of hens to obtain feed during a molt induced by either feed withdrawal, wheat middlings or melegestrol acetate. Poult. Sci. 86:614-620.

  16. Koch, J.M., J.S. Mortiz, D.C. Lay Jr., and M.E. Wilson. 2007. Effects of melengestrol acetate as an alternative to induce molting in hens and on the expression of yolk proteins and turnover of oviductal epithelium. Anim. Repro. Sci., 102(2007):14-23.

  17. Kanaan, V.T., E.A. Pajor, D.C. Lay Jr., B.T. Richert, and J.P Garner. 2008. A note on the effects of co-mingling piglet litters on pre-weaning growth, injuries and responses to behavioural tests. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 110 (3), p.386-391.

  18. Kranendonk, G., D.C. Lay Jr., S. Jarvis, M. Fillerup, C.G. VanReenen, H. Hopster, and V.M. Wiegant. 2008. Regular mixing of pregnant sows reduces their weight gain, but does not affect offspring body weight, behaviour or wound healing. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. Accepted with revision.

  19. Bearson, B. L., S. M. D. Bearson, J. J. Uthe, S. E. Dowd, J. Houghton, I. Lee, M. J. Toscano, and D. C. Lay Jr. 2008. Iron regulated genes of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in response to norepinephrine and the requirement of fepDGC for norepinephrine-enhanced growth. Microbes and Infection. 10:807-806

  20. Lay, D. C. Jr., H. G. Kattesh, J. E. Cunnick, M. J. Daniels, K. A. McMunn, M. J. Toscano, and M. P. Roberts. 2008. Effects of prenatal stress on sow productivity and piglet response to weaning. J. Anim. Sci. 86:1316-1324.

  21. Schenck, E.L., McMunn, K.A., Rosenstein, D.S., Stroshine, R.L., Nielsen, B.D., Richert, B.T., Marchant-Forde, J.N. and Lay Jr., D.C. 2008. Exercising stall-housed gestating gilts: Effects on lameness, the musculo-skeletal system, production and behavior. J. Anim. Sci., 86:3166-3180

  22. Marchant-Forde, J.N., D.C. Lay Jr., R. Marchant-Forde, K.A. McMunn, and B.T. Richert. 2008. Effects of r-salbutamol on behavior and physiology of finishing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 86:3110-3124

  23. Wilcox, C.S., N.M. Schutz, S.S. Donkin, D.C. Lay Jr., S.D. Eicher. 2008. Short Communication: Effect of temporary glycosuria on molasses consumption in Holstein calves. J. Dairy Sci. 91:1-4

  24. Marchant Forde, J.N., Lay Jr., D.C., McMunn, K.A., Cheng, H.W., Pajor E.A. and Marchant-Forde, R.M. 2009. Post-natal piglet husbandry practices and well-being: The effects of alternative techniques delivered separately. J. of Anim. Sci. 87:1479-1492.

  25. Moulton, K., P. Ryan, D.C. Lay Jr., and S. Willard. 2009. Photonic plasmid stability of transformed Salmonella typhimurium: A comparison of three unique plasmids. BMC Microbiol. 9:152-159.

  26. Moulton, K., P. Ryan, D.C. Lay Jr., and S. Willard. 2009. Postmortem photonic imaging of lux-modified Salmonella Typhimurium within the gastrointestinal tract of swine after oral inoculation in vivo. J. Anim. Sci. 87:2239-2244.

  27. Marchant Forde, J. N., D. C. Lay Jr., K. A. McMunn, H.w. Cheng, E. A. Pajor, and R. M. Marchant Forde. 2010. Postnatal piglet husbandry practices and well-being: the effects of alternative techniques delivered in combination. J. Anim. Sci. 87:1479-1492.

  28. Lay Jr., D. C., M. Fulton, P. Y. Hester, D. M. Karcher, J. A. Mench, B. A. Mullens, R. C. Newberry, C. J. Nicol, N. P. O'Sullivan, and R. E. Porter. 2011. Hen welfare in different housing systems. Poultry Sci., 90(1):278-294.

  29. Wilcox, C. S., D. C. Lay Jr., M. H. Rostagno, M. M. Schutz, and S. D. Eicher. 2009. Repeated mixing and isolation: measuring chronic, intermittent stress in Holstein calves. J. Dairy Sci.

  30. Rault, J. L., D. C. Lay Jr., and J. N. Marchant Forde. 2010. Castration induced pain in pigs and other livestock. Appl. Anim. Beh. Sci

  31. Rault, J. L., and D. C. Lay Jr., 2011. Nitrous oxide by itself is insufficient to relieve pain due to castration in piglets. J. Anim. Sci. 89(10):3318-3325.

  32. Poletto, R., A. M. Janczak, R. M. Marchant Forde, J. N. Marchant Forde, D. L. Matthews, C. A. Dowell, D. F. Hogan, L. J. Freeman, and D. C. Lay Jr. 2011. Identification of low and high frequency ranges from heart rate variability and blood pressure variability analyses using pharmacological autonomic blockade with atropine and propanolol in swine. Phys. and Beh. 103:188-196.