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  1. Small Flocks Show Higher Levels of Welfare in Mexican Semi-Intensive Sheep Farming Systems

    Contributor(s):: Mondragón-Ancelmo, Jaime, Hernández, Patricia García, Rubio, Rolando Rojo, Vara, Ignacio Arturo Domínguez, Gigena, Marcia del Campo, Napolitano, Fabio

    In order to assess the level of sheep welfare in small traditional farms as compared with farms of increased size we evaluated several animal-based parameters and applied a modified Animal Needs Index (ANI) protocol in farms located in the North-East of the country. We selected ten sheep farms: 5...

  2. Foraging Behavior Patterns of Sheep and Horses Under a Mixed Species Grazing System

    Contributor(s):: Patkowski, Krzysztof, Pluta, Michał, Lipiec, Antoni, Greguła-Kania, Monika, Gruszecki, Tomasz M.

    The research objective was to assess the behavior patterns of the Polish Konik horse breed and the Uhruska variety of the Polish Lowland Sheep breed under a mixed-grazing system, and their relationship with climatic factors. The observation included 4 adult horses, 27 ewes with lambs and 10...

  3. Assessment of Small Ruminant Welfare in Ethiopia – An Abattoir-Based Study

    Contributor(s):: Bekele, Tizeta, Szonyi, Barbara, Feleke, Aklilu, Grace, Delia

    This paper presents the results of a cross-sectional study assessing the welfare of sheep and goats in a large abattoir in central Ethiopia, using qualitative and quantitative approaches. A total of 384 nonhuman animals (192 sheep and 192 goats) underwent clinical examination and behavioral...

  4. Visual discrimination learning and spatial acuity in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Sugnaseelan, Sumita, Prescott, Neville B., Broom, Donald M., Wathes, Christopher M., Phillips, Clive J. C.

    Visual acuity is an important component of environmental recognition in sheep, yet knowledge about it is limited in this or other herbivorous species. We tested the ability of British Friesland×Texel female lambs to discriminate black and white square-wave gratings, presented vertically or...

  5. Performance of sheep in a spatial maze is impeded by negative stimuli

    Contributor(s):: Doyle, Rebecca E., Freire, Rafael, Cowling, Ann, Knott, Stephanie A., Lee, Caroline

    Exposure to negative stimuli or stress can manifest in general changes in cognitive processing. This study aimed to investigate if a spatial maze task could be used to identify stress-induced differences in the cognitive performance of sheep. Two negative stimuli were used to test the hypothesis....

  6. Inter-observer reliability of Qualitative Behavioural Assessments of sheep

    Contributor(s):: Phythian, Clare, Michalopoulou, Eleni, Duncan, Jennifer, Wemelsfelder, Françoise

    Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) is whole-animal methodology that assesses the expressive qualities of animal demeanour using descriptors such as ‘relaxed’, ‘anxious’ or ‘content’. This study aimed to examine the inter-observer reliability of 12 fixed-list QBA descriptors for sheep that had...

  7. The importance of diet choice on stress-related responses by lambs

    Contributor(s):: Catanese, Francisco, Obelar, Marianela, Villalba, Juan J., Distel, Roberto A.

    Farm animals are commonly restricted to a reduced array of foods, like total mixed rations or pastures with low species diversity. Under these conditions, animals are less likely to satisfy their specific and changing nutrient requirements. In addition, foods and flavors eaten too frequently or...

  8. Generating positive affective states in sheep: The influence of food rewards and opioid administration

    Contributor(s):: Verbeek, Else, Ferguson, Drewe, Quinquet de Monjour, Patrick, Lee, Caroline

    This study investigated the involvement of the opioid system in modulating the affective state after the consumption of palatable and unpalatable rewards, using judgement bias as an indicator of the affective state. We hypothesised that consuming a palatable food reward would generate a more...

  9. The effect of social buffering on fear responses in sheep (Ovis aries)

    Contributor(s):: González, Matilú, Averós, Xavier, Heredia, Ina Beltrán de, Ruiz, Roberto, Arranz, Josune, Estevez, Inma

    Fear in farm animals has been extensively studied because of its close relation to animal welfare. Numerous studies have categorized the behavioral responses of animals to stimuli that can elicit a fear reaction under social isolation conditions. However, farm animals are highly social and...

  10. Effect of breed and lithium chloride dose on the conditioned aversion to olive tree leaves (Olea europaea L.) of sheep

    Contributor(s):: Manuelian, Carmen L., Albanell, Elena, Rovai, Maristela, Salama, Ahmed A. K., Caja, Gerardo

    Grazing maybe an efficient tool for controlling weed cover in olive groves. However, olive leaves are very palatable for sheep, which damages the trees and compromised the later olive production. Lithium chloride (LiCl) is an effective agent for creating food aversion in ruminants through the...

  11. Chronic stress induces pessimistic-like judgment and learning deficits in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Destrez, Alexandra, Deiss, Véronique, Lévy, Frédéric, Calandreau, Ludovic, Lee, Caroline, Chaillou-Sagon, Elodie, Boissy, Alain

    Chronic stress can be described as a long-term negative affective state induced by an accumulation of negative emotional experiences that alters an individual's interactions with the environment. In humans, chronic stress induces both persistent judgment biases and learning deficits. We...

  12. Validation of an algorithm for real-time measurement of sheep activity in confinement by recording movement within a commercial weighing crate

    Contributor(s):: Horton, Brian J., Miller, Dale R.

    This study reports a method of measuring sheep activity in confinement based on recording movement of sheep during weighing. The aim was to show that an algorithm to analyse continuous weight records could be used to measure activity quickly and efficiently using commercial weighing equipment and...

  13. Social transmission of physiological and behavioural responses to castration in suckling Merino lambs

    Contributor(s):: Colditz, Ian G., Paull, David R., Lee, Caroline

    In social species like sheep, social context can modify both physiological and behavioural responses to stressors and normal behavioural patterns. Presence of conspecifics can ameliorate responses to noxious stimuli, an effect termed social buffering, whereas the presence of a distressed...

  14. Sheep exhibit a positive judgement bias and stress-induced hyperthermia following shearing

    Contributor(s):: Sanger, Maree E., Doyle, Rebecca E., Hinch, Geoff N., Lee, Caroline

    The detection of judgement biases may improve welfare evaluations by measuring the cognitive component, particularly the valence, of affective states. Judgement biases have been successfully demonstrated in various laboratory animals but only recently in sheep. Chronic stressors have been found...

  15. Separation distress in artificially-reared lambs depends on human presence and the number of conspecifics

    Contributor(s):: Rault, Jean-Loup, Boissy, Alain, Boivin, Xavier

    The way animals perceive partners, including humans, is yet relatively unknown. Research has shown that humans can provide social support or act as social substitute for domestic animals. Nonetheless, studies investigating the perception of humans by domestic animals in their social environment,...

  16. Opioid control of behaviour in sheep: Effects of morphine and naloxone on food intake, activity and the affective state

    Contributor(s):: Verbeek, Else, Ferguson, Drewe, Quinquet de Monjour, Patrick, Lee, Caroline

    The affective states of animals are important determinants of welfare, yet they are poorly understood. Here we investigate opioid involvement in the regulation of behaviours that may be indicative of the arousal and valence components of affective states in sheep. Ewes treated with sterile water...

  17. Measuring empathic responses in animals

    Contributor(s):: Edgar, J. L., Nicol, C. J., Clark, C. C. A., Paul, E. S.

    Domestic animals may be frequently exposed to situations in which they witness the distress or pain of conspecifics and the extent to which they are affected by this will depend on their capacity for empathy. Empathy encompasses two partially distinct sets of processes concerned with the...

  18. Measures of behavioural reactivity and their relationships with production traits in sheep: A review

    Contributor(s):: Dodd, Cathy L., Pitchford, Wayne S., Hocking Edwards, Janelle E., Hazel, Susan J.

    This paper defines the concept of temperament and discusses the use of behavioural reactivity testing in sheep. The range of behavioural tests used in sheep are categorised and the aspects of behaviour reflected by each type of test discussed. The activation of nervous and endocrine pathways is...

  19. Measurement of feeding motivation in sheep and the effects of food restriction

    Contributor(s):: Verbeek, Else, Waas, Joseph R., McLeay, Lance, Matthews, Lindsay R.

    The availability of food is a crucial factor determining the health and growth of animals. Prolonged or severe food restriction will trigger the subjective state of hunger, which could potentially reduce welfare. We refined a methodology for the measurement of feeding motivation as an indicator...

  20. The long and short of it: A review of tail docking in farm animals

    Contributor(s):: Sutherland, Mhairi A., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Tail docking involves amputating a portion of the tail for a variety of reasons. We review the scientific evidence for the rationale for tail docking, a description of the different methods used, the pain response to the procedure and the effectiveness of pain alleviation, and, finally, the...