A breeding goal to improve the welfare of sheep
Contributor(s):: Scobie, D. R., Bray, A. R., O'Connell, D.
This paper examines the practical and welfare implications of breeding a polled sheep with a short tail, devoid of wool on the head, legs, belly and breech, which has been proposed as a breeding goal (Scobie et al., Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animimal Production 57 (1997) 84-87)....
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...
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...
A review of mulesing and other methods to control flystrike (cutaneous myiasis) in sheep
Contributor(s):: Phillips, C. J. C.
Flystrike (cutaneous myiasis) in sheep has the potential to have a major impact on the welfare of significant numbers of sheep worldwide, but particularly in Australia. The main control method used in Australia, the mulesing operation to remove folds of skin from the hindquarters of the sheep, is...
An evaluation of the contribution of isolation, up-ending and wool removal to the stress response to shearing
Contributor(s):: Hargreaves, A. L., Hutson, G. D.
A 2x2x2 factorial experiment examined the effects of 3 components of shearing (isolation, up-ending and wool removal) on the development of a stress response to handling. 10 Merino wethers were allocated to each treatment. Haematocrit, plasma cortisol and plasma glucose were measured in a series...
Assessment of unconsciousness during slaughter without stunning in lambs
Contributor(s):: Rodriguez, P., Velarde, A., Dalmau, A., Llonch, P.
Changes in heart rate, plasma cortisol and haematocrit of sheep during a shearing procedure
Nine Merino wethers were individually subjected to a series of 8 handling treatments of increasing complexity, culminating in partial shearing. The treatments were control, separation from other sheep, isolation, human presence, blood sampling, up-ending, exposure to shearing noise, and wool...
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,...
Effects of nutritional experience in early and adult life of the performance and dietary habits of sheep
Contributor(s):: Arnold, G. W., Maller, R. A.
Diet selection, intake, liveweight changes and wool production were investigated in sheep grazing various sown or natural pastures or fed hay in pens. Differences in preference of spp. for grazing due to environment persisted for >1 yr despite attempts to remove them. Differences in food intake,...
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...
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...
La mémoire longue d'une métissage : la "métisse" ou la race ovine mérinos d'Arles = Story of crossbreeding : the "métisse" or the Merino sheep of Arles
Contributor(s):: Fabre, Patrick, Lebaudy, Guillaume
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...
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...
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)...
Selection for easier managed sheep
Contributor(s):: Conington, J., Collins, J., Dwyer, C.
Current alterations in the farm environment, such as a reduced number of farm workers, may mean that sheep genotypes that are highly dependent on man for nutritional and reproductive success will experience poorer welfare within that environment. In the past 30 years, average flock size has...
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...
Social transmission of physiological and behavioural responses to castration in suckling Merino lambs
Contributor(s):: Colditz, I. G., Paull, D. R., Lee, C.
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...
The use of quantitative risk assessment to assess lifetime welfare outcomes for breech strike and mulesing management options in Merino sheep
Contributor(s):: Fisher, A. D., Giraudo, A., Martin, P. A. J., Paton, M. W.