Some factors affecting resting behaviour of sheep in ...

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Title Some factors affecting resting behaviour of sheep in slaughterhouse lairages after transport from farms
Author(s) A. M. Jarvis, M. S. Cockram
Journal Animal Welfare
Date 1995
Volume 4
Issue 1
Start page 53
End page 60
Abstract The resting behaviour of 64 groups of sheep was observed in the lairages of 2 slaughterhouses after transport for about 4 hours in a commercial livestock transporter. The sheep were watched at 5 minute intervals for the initial 3 hours in the lairage pen. The median percentage of time spent lying per group was 17% (range 1 to 63). The percentage of time spent lying was not significantly related to the duration of transport, time of arrival or slaughterhouse. There was a significant positive relationship between space allowance (range 0.22 to 0.98 m² per sheep) and percentage of time spent lying per group. Increased space allowance also tended to be associated with a decrease in the occurrence of all interactions between the sheep. Groups penned with 2 unfamiliar groups tended to spend less time lying than those penned on their own or with one other group. There was no significant difference in the total percentage of time spent lying by groups penned on slats and those penned on straw. The results indicated that the ability of sheep to rest in the lairage may be compromised by providing low space allowances.

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