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Behavioral responses to short-term social isolation in sheep and goats

By E. O. Price, J. Thos

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Temporary isolation from social partners under modern husbandry practices is often accompanied by psychological distress. The effects of short-term social isolation were studied in forty ten-week-old domestic sheep and goats reared in intra- and inter-specific pairs. Goats bleated and reared against the wall of the test arena more than sheep during the period of isolation. Subjects isolated in an unfamiliar environment elicited stronger responses than those tested in their home enclosure. The presence of the observer in the test enclosure resulted in a reduction of bleating and of time spent rearing against the wall, particularly for goats which spent more time in contact with the observer than did sheep. The effects of rearing experience were slight. These results are discussed in terms of social differences between sheep and goats.

Date 1980
Publication Title Applied Animal Ethology
Volume 6
Issue 4
Pages 331-339
Language English
Author Address Dep. Anim. Sci., Univ., Davis, California 95616, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal husbandry
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Goats
  6. Housing
  7. Husbandry
  8. Mammals
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. Sheep
  11. Social Isolation
  1. peer-reviewed