Grazing behaviour trials were carried out between Oct. 1964 and Sept. 1965 with Merino ewes, 18 months old, in paddocks on a predominantly Phalaris aquatica/white clover pasture with some perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and subterranean clover. It was concluded that grazing patterns adopted by sheep in small experimental paddocks are likely to be affected by daylength, lack of grass and rate of loss of liveweight. Grazing behaviour of groups of 2 sheep were not different when compared with 4 or 5 sheep over the summer period. Differences which appeared with time were more related to change in liveweight than to any difference between grazing behaviour due to size of flock. Grazing patterns of sheep in square paddocks did not appear to be affected by the ability to see sheep in neighbouring plots. However, there was the possibility of social inhibition occurring in sheep grazing adjoining rectangular paddocks and the tendency to more uniform grazing behaviour in plots with wire fences suggested that vision may have been important in this connection.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Ethology|
|Author Address||Div. of Anim. Prod., CSIRO, Pastoral Res. Lab., Armidale, N.S.W., Australia 2350.|
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