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  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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,...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Human–animal interactions at abattoirs: Relationships between handling and animal stress in sheep and cattle

    Contributor(s):: Hemsworth, Paul H., Rice, Maxine, Karlen, Marcus G., Calleja, Lisa, Barnett, John L., Nash, Judy, Coleman, Grahame J.

    Relationships between handling and animal stress were studied in 200 animals, of similar age from one property, at each of two sheep and two cattle abattoirs (n=800). A total of 14 and 13 stockpeople handled the study sheep and cattle, respectively. At each abattoir, 10 cohorts of 20 animals from...

  11. Housing induced mood modulates reactions to emotional stimuli in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Reefmann, Nadine, Muehlemann, Thomas, Wechsler, Beat, Gygax, Lorenz

    The assessment of positive and negative short-term affective states (emotions) in animals and their modulation by long-term affective states (mood) is an on-going challenge. This study investigated the use of behavioural and physiological measures to assess emotions and their modulation by mood...

  12. Does reduction of fearfulness tend to reduce pessimistic-like judgment in lambs?

    Contributor(s):: Destrez, Alexandra, Deiss, Véronique, Belzung, Catherine, Lee, Caroline, Boissy, Alain

    Recent studies emphasize the role of interactions between emotions and judgment of environment to better assess affective state in animals. Diazepam offers a way to pharmacologically manipulate the affective state. This drug is generally used to reduce negative affective states, mainly by...

  13. Castration induced pain in pigs and other livestock

    Contributor(s):: Rault, Jean-Loup, Lay, Donald C., Marchant-Forde, Jeremy N.

    Castration of male livestock being reared for meat has long been practiced, to prevent unwanted breeding, make management and handling easier, and to improve meat quality. However, castration is a painful procedure for the animal and has increasingly come under scrutiny from animal welfare...

  14. Breed differences in the expression of maternal care at parturition persist throughout the lactation period in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Pickup, Helena E., Dwyer, Cathy M.

    Maternal care plays an important role in the survival of offspring in mammals. In the ewe initial maternal care is expressed by nurturing the young and formation of an exclusive olfactory bond with the lamb. After the neonatal period, maternal care is associated with co-operation with sucking...

  15. Assessment of sociability in farm animals: The use of arena test in lambs

    Contributor(s):: Ligout, Séverine, Foulquié, Didier, Sèbe, Frédéric, Bouix, Jacques, Boissy, Alain

    The present study aimed to evaluate an experimental approach to individually assess social reactivity among sheep. INRA401 male lambs (n=163) were reared together outdoors as part of a larger flock. Fifteen days after weaning the animals were individually exposed to an arena test of 2 phases...

  16. Addressing pain caused by mulesing in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Fisher, Andrew D.

    The surgical operation of mulesing cuts wool-bearing and wrinkled skin from the perineal region and adjoining hindquarters of Australian Merino sheep, and has been shown in combination with tail docking to provide significantly enhanced protection against flystrike for the remainder of the...

  17. Acute effects of mulesing and alternative procedures to mulesing on lamb behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Edwards, Lauren E., Arnold, Naomi A., Butler, Kym L., Hemsworth, Paul H.

    The practice of surgical mulesing is used as a preventative measure against flystrike in sheep. However, this practice raises welfare concerns due to the severity of the wound and the pain inflicted. Alternative procedures to mulesing have been investigated, but few of these studies have...

  18. City of Beasts: How Animals Shaped Georgian London. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019. xviii + 310pp. 34 figures. Bibliography. £25.00 hbk. £30.00 ebk

    Contributor(s):: Taverner, Charlie

    Farm animals populate the next two sections: the cows and pigs reared within the built-up area, and the cattle and sheep driven into the heart of the city to be slaughtered. A recurrent theme of the book is the way in which urban growth actually increased interactions between animals and humans...

  19. The interplay between exposure and preference for unpalatable foods by lambs

    Contributor(s):: Villalba, Juan, Spackman, Casey, Lobón, Sandra

    Herbivores satiate on single foods ingested too frequently or in excess. We hypothesized that exposure to the same unpalatable food too frequently or in excess causes satiety, which in turn would reduce subsequent use and preference for this food when alternatives become available. In each of...

  20. Sexual behaviour in sheep is driven by body condition and the related nutritional and metabolic status

    Contributor(s):: Alhamada, Moutaz, Debus, Nathalie, González-García, Eliel, Bocquier, François

    To evaluate the effects of nutrition on the sexual behaviour of ewes, forty-eight mature (7.6±1.9years old) Merino d’Arles ewes with an average initial body condition score (BCS=2.26±0.23) and similar body weight (BW=46.6±3.8kg) were fed three contrasting diets for three months. The diets...