Feeding behaviour and the intake of food and water by sheep after a period of deprivation lasting 14 h

Hall, S. J. G. and Schmidt, B. and Broom, D. M. (1997) Feeding behaviour and the intake of food and water by sheep after a period of deprivation lasting 14 h. Animal Science, 64 (1). pp. 105-110. ISSN 1357-7298

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Abstract

After 14 h of confinement in a stationary trailer, sheep were found to have lost 5.7% of their body weight. Two experiments, one with a heterogeneous flock (28.6 to 93.2 kg body weight) and the other with a more homogeneous flock (32.4 to 46.6 kg) showed very little recovery of this loss after 1 h of ad lib food and water. When offered familiar concentrates, sheep ate on average 1.2 kg per animal in the first hour, water only being taken in quantity (> 5.0 l per animal) in the next 6 h. Hay was taken at a much lower rate (0.25 kg per animal) and less water drunk (1.5 l per animal). Competitive social interactions were 5 times more frequent during hay feeding than during concentrate feeding. After 14 h of confinement a break of 1 h is evidently insufficient for feeding and watering and could result in poor welfare. If concentrates are offered, the resulting water deficit will not be redressed within 1 h, resulting in a strong motivation to drink when no water is available. If hay is offered, the heightened level of competitive social interaction could also result in poor welfare.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:After 14 h of confinement in a stationary trailer, sheep were found to have lost 5.7% of their body weight. Two experiments, one with a heterogeneous flock (28.6 to 93.2 kg body weight) and the other with a more homogeneous flock (32.4 to 46.6 kg) showed very little recovery of this loss after 1 h of ad lib food and water. When offered familiar concentrates, sheep ate on average 1.2 kg per animal in the first hour, water only being taken in quantity (> 5.0 l per animal) in the next 6 h. Hay was taken at a much lower rate (0.25 kg per animal) and less water drunk (1.5 l per animal). Competitive social interactions were 5 times more frequent during hay feeding than during concentrate feeding. After 14 h of confinement a break of 1 h is evidently insufficient for feeding and watering and could result in poor welfare. If concentrates are offered, the resulting water deficit will not be redressed within 1 h, resulting in a strong motivation to drink when no water is available. If hay is offered, the heightened level of competitive social interaction could also result in poor welfare.
Keywords:sheep, animal welfare
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D420 Livestock
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:5656
Deposited By: Stephen Hall
Deposited On:24 May 2012 06:09
Last Modified:24 May 2012 06:17

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