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Influence of artificial rearing on behavioral and immune response of lambs

By F. Napolitano, V. Marino, G. de Rosa, R. Capparelli, A. Bordi

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Comisana lambs were separated from their mothers at 2, 15 or 28 days of age and reared artificially. On the day of separation, lambs were given an i.m. injection of keyhole limpet haemocyanin in complete Freunds' adjuvant (250 micro g). Antibody titres and surface leukocyte antigens were determined at weekly intervals and compared to those of control lambs which were injected at similar ages but not separated from their dams. Lambs separated at 2 days of age had a lower antibody response than corresponding control lambs, whereas the antibody response of lambs separated at 15 and 28 days of age did not differ from that of the coresponding controls. The proportion of cells with surface antigens was similar in all groups. Lambs were subjected to an isolation test where they were exposed to a novel environment for 15 min. The time spent moving increased with age (162.8 vs. 272.1 and 221.1 s for 2-, 15- and 28-day-old lambs, respectively), whereas the time to first movement decreased (15.8, 3.4 and 2.3 s, respectively). An increased cortisol level was observed in 2-day-old lambs 15 min after removal from the dam, no increases were observed in the other 2 groups. When lambs were removed from their mothers at 2 or 15 days of age, the daily weight gain decreased significantly in comparison with the corresponding control groups.

Date 1995
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 45
Issue 3-4
Pages 245-253
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Dipartimento di Scienze Zootecniche, Universita di Napoli Federico II, via Universita 133, 80055, Portici (NA), Italy.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Age
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal nutrition
  4. Animal physiology
  5. Antibodies
  6. Artificial rearing
  7. Cortisol
  8. Growth
  9. Hand rearing
  10. Hydrocortisone
  11. Immune response
  12. Immunity reactions
  13. Immunological reactions
  14. Lambs
  15. Mammals
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Sheep
  18. Stress
  1. peer-reviewed