During an 8-day assembly phase in a feedlot, sheep (n = 1500) given a shipping pellet (SP) consisting mainly of cereal straw and barley grain gained about 1 kg liveweight, while those on a lupin pellet (LP) of lupin hulls and kernels lost 1 kg. Farm source of sheep had a significant effect on weight changes that was independent of diet. By the end of the feedlot phase, average daily consumption of pellets per head was about 1 kg. This declined to about 0.5 kg during the first few days of the sea transport, but recovered to 1 kg by day 6 of the 13-day voyage. This loss in appetite contributed strongly to the average weight loss of about 1.6 kg observed for all sheep during the voyage. Differences between LP and SP diets on the sheep were small in terms of further weight change. Sheep on the upper tiers of the ship consistently ate less than those on the lower tiers, despite similar treatment procedures and microclimate. Mortality during the voyage was 1.3% (21 animals), mostly as a result of starvation. The mean weight of animals that died was 42.5 kg, a weight loss of >13 kg. 11 of the 21 sheep came from a single farm source.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||School of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, W.A. 6009, Australia.|
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