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

    Contributor(s):: Colditz, I. G., Paull, D. R., Lee, C.

  2. A note on sheltering behaviour by ewes before and after lambing

    Contributor(s):: Pollard, J. C., Shaw, K. J., Littlejohn, R. P.

    The effects of lambing and lamb rearing on sheltering behaviour was investigated in multiparous Romney x Perendale crossbred ewes with either 9 (5 ewes) or 3 months (5) of wool growth during daylight hours for 6 weeks over the lambing period, in a pasture with little vegetative shelter but with a...

  3. Rat aversion to induction with inhalant anaesthetics

    Contributor(s):: Makowska, I. J., Weary, D. M.

    The most common method of euthanasia of laboratory rodents is exposure to carbon dioxide (CO2), but recent studies have shown that rodents find this gas aversive. Inhalant anaesthetics such as halothane and isoflurane are commonly used to induce unconsciousness in small animals and may be a...

  4. Statistical and probabilistic estimators of forage conditions from grazing behaviour of Merino sheep in a semi-arid environment

    Contributor(s):: Dudzinski, M. L., Schuh, H. J., Wilcox, D. G., Gardiner, H. G., Morrissey, J. G.

    The flock structure of Merino ewes and rams was recorded from the air in 22 surveys over 3 yr in a large semi-arid area of W. Australia. Forage production and body wt. data were collected over the same period. A dispersion index, DI (with zero value when all the sheep were in 1 group and with...

  5. Use of shelter and selection of lambing sites by shorn and unshorn ewes in paddocks with closely or widely spaced shelters

    Contributor(s):: Alexander, G., Lynch, J. J., Mottershead, B. E.

    In late winter sheep spent more time sheltering behind phalaris hedges set 20 m apart than behind those set 240 m apart, but spent more time behind the latter than behind plastic mesh screens set at the same distance. About half the ewes isolated themselves for lambing, which took place near...

  6. Repeated transport and isolation during pregnancy in ewes: differential effects on emotional reactivity and weight of their offspring

    Contributor(s):: Roussel-Huchette, S., Hemsworth, P. H., Boissy, A., Duvaux-Ponter, C.

    The aim of this experiment was to study the effects of different stressors applied to pregnant ewes during the last third of pregnancy on the emotional reactivity of their lambs. Forty ewes were subjected twice a week during the last 6 weeks of gestation to 10 sessions of isolation (ISOL, n=20)...

  7. Neonatal survival: contributions from behavioural studies in sheep

    Contributor(s):: Nowak, R.

    Newborn lambs need milk and immunological protection shortly after birth, and early interactions between the mother and the young are critical for this. Merino ewes in extensive conditions in Australia have the reputation of being a poor mothers. Attempts to improve the reproductive performance...

  8. Social cohesion in groups of sheep: effect of activity level, sex composition and group size

    Contributor(s):: Michelena, P., Gautrais, J., Gerard, J. F., Bon, R., Deneubourg, J. L.

    We investigated the effects of activity, group size and sex composition on the cohesion of merino sheep (Ovis aries) groups. Mixed-sex (50% of each sex) and single-sex groups of 2, 4, 6 and 8 sheep were placed within 491-m2 arenas located in natural pastures and were video recorded during 6 daily...

  9. Development of a maze test and its application to assess spatial learning and memory in Merino sheep

    Contributor(s):: Lee, C., Colegate, S., Fisher, A. D.

    A maze test was developed to assess spatial memory and learning in Merino sheep. Total time to traverse the maze and times spent in cul de sacs (errors) were used to assess performance. Both total time and errors decreased when the performance of sheep was assessed on three consecutive days,...

  10. A note on separation from one or more lamb(s) in Merino lines divergently selected for ewe multiple rearing ability

    Contributor(s):: Cloete, S. W. P., Scholtz, A. J., Hoope, J. M. T.

    During 1993-95, post parturient behaviour was studied in 370 Merino ewes, 2-6 years of age, from 2 lines divergently selected for multiple rearing ability kept at the Elsenburg Development Institute. Since 1986, high line ram and ewe replacements had been selected from dams that reared >1 lamb...

  11. Exploring the basis of divergent selection for 'temperament' in domestic sheep

    Contributor(s):: Beausoleil, N. J., Blache, D., Stafford, K. J., Mellor, D. J., Noble, A. D. L.

    In previous studies, sheep that are More Active and vocal in an arena test or during social isolation have been considered to be more fearful than Less Active and vocal sheep. Merino sheep at the University of Western Australia have been selectively bred for their behavioural responses to the...

  12. Genotype rather than non-genetic behavioural transmission determines the temperament of Merino lambs

    Contributor(s):: Bickell, S., Poindron, P., Nowak, R., Chadwick, A., Ferguson, D., Blache, D.

    Merino ewes have been selected, over 18 generations, for calm (C) or nervous (N) temperament using an arena test and an isolation box test. We investigated the relative contributions of genotype versus the post-partum behaviour of the dam on the temperament of the lambs using a cross-fostering...