Effects of a 15h journey followed by either 12h ...



Title Effects of a 15h journey followed by either 12h starvation or ad libitum hay on the behaviour and blood chemistry of sheep
Author(s) M. S. Cockram, J. E. Kent, N. K. Waran, I. M. McGilp, R. E. Jackson, J. R. Amory, E. L. Southall, T. O'Riordan, T. I. McConnell, B. S. Wilkins
Journal Animal Welfare
Date 1999
Volume 8
Issue 2
Start page 135
End page 148
Abstract In a 2×2 factorial design, 6 sheep were either transported by road for 15 h or kept in their home pens, and then either starved for 12 h with access to water or offered hay ad libitum with access to water. All groups were offered hay and water 12 h after transport. Behavioural observations and measurements of dehydration and feed restriction were made before, during and for 24 h after transport. After the journey, the immediate priority for the sheep was to eat. Consumption of hay increased water intake and reduced the time spent lying down. The plasma cortisol concentration was greater in sheep which had been starved during the 12 h after transport, than in those offered hay during this time; and the plasma free fatty acid concentration was greater in sheep which had been transported than in those which had not. Although transported sheep kept without hay during the first 12 h after transport drank more water than those which had not been transported, the mean time before they drank was >7 h. During the transport period, there was less lying behaviour in transported sheep than in non-transported sheep but transported sheep did not lie down more after transport than non-transported sheep. It is concluded that sheep should be offered both feed and water after a 15 h journey, although when feed is not available, drinking and resting do not appear to be immediate priorities.

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