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The influence of lameness and individuality on movement patterns in sheep


Doughty, AK and Horton, BJ and Huyen, NTD and Ballagh, CR and Corkrey, R and Hinch, GN, The influence of lameness and individuality on movement patterns in sheep, Behavioural Processes, 151 pp. 34-38. ISSN 0376-6357 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Elsevier B.V

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2018.03.008


We investigated how individuality and lameness altered social organisation by assessing food-directed movement patterns in sheep. One hundred and ninety-six mature Merino ewes were walked in 16 different runs around a 1.1 km track following a food source. Flock position and lameness were measured and temperament was assessed using an Isolation Box Test. The mean value for the correlations of position between a run and the run preceding it was r = 0.55  SEM 0.03. All correlations between runs were positive (r = 0.08-0.76) and all but two were statistically significant (P < 0.05). The weakest and least statistically significant correlations were for run 14; where all 16 runs were conducted approximately times a week, except with an interval of 20 weeks between runs 13 and 14. Additionally, there were differences in overall positions for a lame versus a non-lame individual (all P < 0.05) with lame sheep being further back in position when compared to their non-lame mean positions. These results indicate the movement patterns, as measured by flock position during a food-direct are relatively stable provided tests occur frequently, possibly on a bi-weekly basis. However, further work will be required to better account for individual animal variation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:behaviour, flock position, forced movement, lameness, RFID, temperament
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Animal production
Research Field:Animal management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock raising
Objective Field:Sheep for wool
UTAS Author:Horton, BJ (Dr Brian Horton)
UTAS Author:Corkrey, R (Dr Ross Corkrey)
ID Code:125176
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2018-04-05
Last Modified:2019-03-20

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