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Prevalence and Incidence of Abnormal Behaviours in Individually Housed Sheep.

Lauber M, Nash JA, Gatt A, Hemsworth PH - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Bottom Line: Seventy-one percent of the sheep displayed one or more of the behaviours of pacing, and chewing and nosing pen fixtures for more than 10% of the day and 47% displayed one or more of these behaviours for more than 20% of the day.The prevalence and incidence of these 'abnormal' behaviours appears high, especially in relation to that of sheep grazed outdoors on pasture, and raises the question of the welfare risk to these animals.However, without a more comprehensive appreciation of other aspects of the animal's biology, such as stress physiology and fitness characteristics, it is difficult to understand the welfare implications of these behaviours.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Animal Welfare Science Centre, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia. Mariko.Lauber@dpi.vic.gov.au.

ABSTRACT
This study examined the prevalence and incidence of abnormal behaviour in sheep housed individually indoors. Ninety-six castrated Merino sheep were observed using 15-min instantaneous sampling between 08:15 and 18:15 h for two consecutive days over a 3-week period. Sheep on average spent 62% of their time idle, 17% feeding, 1% drinking, 5% pacing, 10% chewing pen fixtures and 4% nosing pen fixtures. Pacing behaviour was predominantly seen in the morning with sheep on average spending 14% of their time pacing. Sheep on average spent 4% of their time in the morning and 13% of their time in the afternoon chewing pen fixtures. In the afternoon, the predominant behaviour was idle with sheep on average spending 71% of their time idle. Seventy-one percent of the sheep displayed one or more of the behaviours of pacing, and chewing and nosing pen fixtures for more than 10% of the day and 47% displayed one or more of these behaviours for more than 20% of the day. The prevalence and incidence of these 'abnormal' behaviours appears high, especially in relation to that of sheep grazed outdoors on pasture, and raises the question of the welfare risk to these animals. However, without a more comprehensive appreciation of other aspects of the animal's biology, such as stress physiology and fitness characteristics, it is difficult to understand the welfare implications of these behaviours.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Histogram showing the distribution of time that sheep spent chewing pen fixtures in the 30 min prior to feeding.
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animals-02-00027-f004: Histogram showing the distribution of time that sheep spent chewing pen fixtures in the 30 min prior to feeding.

Mentions: In contrast, the duration of chewing pen fixtures prior to feeding, based on continuous observations for 30 min prior to feeding, was much less prominent than pacing: mean time spent chewing was 0.6% (±SD of 1.8) of the time with only 2 sheep (2.1% of sheep) displaying chewing for more than 5% of the 30 min prior to feeding (Figure 4). However, the incidence of chewing pen fittings continued throughout the day, unlike pacing which virtually ceased once feed was delivered to the sheep (Table 2). Done-Currie et al. [15] reported that individually housed sheep engaged in chewing pen fixtures, such as wire, bars and feeder. These behaviours along with other oral behaviours, such as chain rattling, occurred after feeding and during periods of relative quiet.


Prevalence and Incidence of Abnormal Behaviours in Individually Housed Sheep.

Lauber M, Nash JA, Gatt A, Hemsworth PH - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Histogram showing the distribution of time that sheep spent chewing pen fixtures in the 30 min prior to feeding.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494269&req=5

animals-02-00027-f004: Histogram showing the distribution of time that sheep spent chewing pen fixtures in the 30 min prior to feeding.
Mentions: In contrast, the duration of chewing pen fixtures prior to feeding, based on continuous observations for 30 min prior to feeding, was much less prominent than pacing: mean time spent chewing was 0.6% (±SD of 1.8) of the time with only 2 sheep (2.1% of sheep) displaying chewing for more than 5% of the 30 min prior to feeding (Figure 4). However, the incidence of chewing pen fittings continued throughout the day, unlike pacing which virtually ceased once feed was delivered to the sheep (Table 2). Done-Currie et al. [15] reported that individually housed sheep engaged in chewing pen fixtures, such as wire, bars and feeder. These behaviours along with other oral behaviours, such as chain rattling, occurred after feeding and during periods of relative quiet.

Bottom Line: Seventy-one percent of the sheep displayed one or more of the behaviours of pacing, and chewing and nosing pen fixtures for more than 10% of the day and 47% displayed one or more of these behaviours for more than 20% of the day.The prevalence and incidence of these 'abnormal' behaviours appears high, especially in relation to that of sheep grazed outdoors on pasture, and raises the question of the welfare risk to these animals.However, without a more comprehensive appreciation of other aspects of the animal's biology, such as stress physiology and fitness characteristics, it is difficult to understand the welfare implications of these behaviours.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Animal Welfare Science Centre, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia. Mariko.Lauber@dpi.vic.gov.au.

ABSTRACT
This study examined the prevalence and incidence of abnormal behaviour in sheep housed individually indoors. Ninety-six castrated Merino sheep were observed using 15-min instantaneous sampling between 08:15 and 18:15 h for two consecutive days over a 3-week period. Sheep on average spent 62% of their time idle, 17% feeding, 1% drinking, 5% pacing, 10% chewing pen fixtures and 4% nosing pen fixtures. Pacing behaviour was predominantly seen in the morning with sheep on average spending 14% of their time pacing. Sheep on average spent 4% of their time in the morning and 13% of their time in the afternoon chewing pen fixtures. In the afternoon, the predominant behaviour was idle with sheep on average spending 71% of their time idle. Seventy-one percent of the sheep displayed one or more of the behaviours of pacing, and chewing and nosing pen fixtures for more than 10% of the day and 47% displayed one or more of these behaviours for more than 20% of the day. The prevalence and incidence of these 'abnormal' behaviours appears high, especially in relation to that of sheep grazed outdoors on pasture, and raises the question of the welfare risk to these animals. However, without a more comprehensive appreciation of other aspects of the animal's biology, such as stress physiology and fitness characteristics, it is difficult to understand the welfare implications of these behaviours.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus