Lying behaviour of housed and outdoor-managed pregnant sheep

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Lying behaviour of housed and outdoor-managed pregnant sheep. / Williams, Manod; Davis, Chelsea N.; Jones, Dewi Llyr; Davies, Emma S.; Vasina, Penelope; Cutress, David; Rose, Michael T.; Jones, Rhys Aled; Williams, Hefin Wyn.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 241, 105370, 01.08.2021.

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Williams, Manod ; Davis, Chelsea N. ; Jones, Dewi Llyr ; Davies, Emma S. ; Vasina, Penelope ; Cutress, David ; Rose, Michael T. ; Jones, Rhys Aled ; Williams, Hefin Wyn. / Lying behaviour of housed and outdoor-managed pregnant sheep. In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2021 ; Vol. 241.

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@article{4dfd95ffc94242ad8206ad7c033a0235,
title = "Lying behaviour of housed and outdoor-managed pregnant sheep",
abstract = "Lying behaviour has been shown to be highly valuable in supporting the productivity and welfare of cattle. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect of biological and physical factors on the lying behaviour of sheep. Ninety-six Bluefaced Leicester x Welsh Mountain crossbred (Mule) ewes managed to lamb indoors, and 80 Welsh Mountain (WM) ewes managed to lamb at grass were used for the study. Acceleration values were collected for the two flocks from accelerometers fitted vertically to the outside of the rear right leg and set to record at 1-min intervals for at least 14 d prior to parturition. Ewes were simultaneously recorded using video equipment to identify lambing and to verify predictions of lying (total lying time, mean lying bout duration and total number of lying bouts) using data collected from 10 randomly selected ewes from the indoor flock on day -10 prior to lambing. Linear regression was used to evaluate predicted behaviours with video footage. Predictions of total lying time (R2 ≥ 0.99; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0), mean lying bout duration (R2 ≥ 0.99; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0) and total number of lying bouts (R2 ≥ 0.98; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0) were strongly associated with video footage (P < 0.001) demonstrating that a 1-min sampling interval provides reliable estimates of ewe lying behaviours. Measures of lying (mean daily lying time, mean lying bout duration and mean daily lying bouts) were calculated for all ewes using averages taken across days -10, -9 and -8 prior to lambing. Linear regression was used to test for effects of independent variables (pregnancy scan result (single- or twin-bearing), ewe age, ewe BCS, lambing ease, lamb sex and lamb birth weight) on each measure of lying. Significant associations (P < 0.05) were found between measures of lying and pregnancy scan result, ewe age, sex of singleton lambs and twin birth weight for housed, Mule ewes. Only ewe age and twin birth weight were significantly associated (P < 0.05) with measures of lying for WM ewes managed at grass. This information could help guide further research on sheep behaviour for management purposes (e.g., to optimise stocking densities and welfare for pregnant ewes). Further work should also consider evaluating measures of lying as proxies for imminent parturition.",
keywords = "Accelerometers, Behaviour, Lambing, Lying behaviour, Pregnant, Sheep",
author = "Manod Williams and Davis, {Chelsea N.} and Jones, {Dewi Llyr} and Davies, {Emma S.} and Penelope Vasina and David Cutress and Rose, {Michael T.} and Jones, {Rhys Aled} and Williams, {Hefin Wyn}",
note = "Funding Information: This study was part of the PreciseAg (Precision Livestock Farming for a Sustainable Welsh Agricultural Industry) project funded by Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW ; Enhancing HE-FE Collaboration in Innovation and Engagement Activity 2017-18 ). The funding body had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript. We would like to thank the farm staff at Aberystwyth University and Llysfasi for allowing access to farm locations during the study and for assisting in the management of the study animals. We would also like to thank Mr Colin Armstrong and Mr Robert Darby for installing the video recording equipment at Gogerddan Farm. The Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) . Publisher Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.",
year = "2021",
month = aug,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.applanim.2021.105370",
language = "English",
volume = "241",
journal = "Applied Animal Behaviour Science",
issn = "0168-1591",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Lying behaviour of housed and outdoor-managed pregnant sheep

AU - Williams, Manod

AU - Davis, Chelsea N.

AU - Jones, Dewi Llyr

AU - Davies, Emma S.

AU - Vasina, Penelope

AU - Cutress, David

AU - Rose, Michael T.

AU - Jones, Rhys Aled

AU - Williams, Hefin Wyn

N1 - Funding Information: This study was part of the PreciseAg (Precision Livestock Farming for a Sustainable Welsh Agricultural Industry) project funded by Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW ; Enhancing HE-FE Collaboration in Innovation and Engagement Activity 2017-18 ). The funding body had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript. We would like to thank the farm staff at Aberystwyth University and Llysfasi for allowing access to farm locations during the study and for assisting in the management of the study animals. We would also like to thank Mr Colin Armstrong and Mr Robert Darby for installing the video recording equipment at Gogerddan Farm. The Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) . Publisher Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

PY - 2021/8/1

Y1 - 2021/8/1

N2 - Lying behaviour has been shown to be highly valuable in supporting the productivity and welfare of cattle. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect of biological and physical factors on the lying behaviour of sheep. Ninety-six Bluefaced Leicester x Welsh Mountain crossbred (Mule) ewes managed to lamb indoors, and 80 Welsh Mountain (WM) ewes managed to lamb at grass were used for the study. Acceleration values were collected for the two flocks from accelerometers fitted vertically to the outside of the rear right leg and set to record at 1-min intervals for at least 14 d prior to parturition. Ewes were simultaneously recorded using video equipment to identify lambing and to verify predictions of lying (total lying time, mean lying bout duration and total number of lying bouts) using data collected from 10 randomly selected ewes from the indoor flock on day -10 prior to lambing. Linear regression was used to evaluate predicted behaviours with video footage. Predictions of total lying time (R2 ≥ 0.99; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0), mean lying bout duration (R2 ≥ 0.99; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0) and total number of lying bouts (R2 ≥ 0.98; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0) were strongly associated with video footage (P < 0.001) demonstrating that a 1-min sampling interval provides reliable estimates of ewe lying behaviours. Measures of lying (mean daily lying time, mean lying bout duration and mean daily lying bouts) were calculated for all ewes using averages taken across days -10, -9 and -8 prior to lambing. Linear regression was used to test for effects of independent variables (pregnancy scan result (single- or twin-bearing), ewe age, ewe BCS, lambing ease, lamb sex and lamb birth weight) on each measure of lying. Significant associations (P < 0.05) were found between measures of lying and pregnancy scan result, ewe age, sex of singleton lambs and twin birth weight for housed, Mule ewes. Only ewe age and twin birth weight were significantly associated (P < 0.05) with measures of lying for WM ewes managed at grass. This information could help guide further research on sheep behaviour for management purposes (e.g., to optimise stocking densities and welfare for pregnant ewes). Further work should also consider evaluating measures of lying as proxies for imminent parturition.

AB - Lying behaviour has been shown to be highly valuable in supporting the productivity and welfare of cattle. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect of biological and physical factors on the lying behaviour of sheep. Ninety-six Bluefaced Leicester x Welsh Mountain crossbred (Mule) ewes managed to lamb indoors, and 80 Welsh Mountain (WM) ewes managed to lamb at grass were used for the study. Acceleration values were collected for the two flocks from accelerometers fitted vertically to the outside of the rear right leg and set to record at 1-min intervals for at least 14 d prior to parturition. Ewes were simultaneously recorded using video equipment to identify lambing and to verify predictions of lying (total lying time, mean lying bout duration and total number of lying bouts) using data collected from 10 randomly selected ewes from the indoor flock on day -10 prior to lambing. Linear regression was used to evaluate predicted behaviours with video footage. Predictions of total lying time (R2 ≥ 0.99; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0), mean lying bout duration (R2 ≥ 0.99; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0) and total number of lying bouts (R2 ≥ 0.98; P > 0.05 for slope = 1, intercept = 0) were strongly associated with video footage (P < 0.001) demonstrating that a 1-min sampling interval provides reliable estimates of ewe lying behaviours. Measures of lying (mean daily lying time, mean lying bout duration and mean daily lying bouts) were calculated for all ewes using averages taken across days -10, -9 and -8 prior to lambing. Linear regression was used to test for effects of independent variables (pregnancy scan result (single- or twin-bearing), ewe age, ewe BCS, lambing ease, lamb sex and lamb birth weight) on each measure of lying. Significant associations (P < 0.05) were found between measures of lying and pregnancy scan result, ewe age, sex of singleton lambs and twin birth weight for housed, Mule ewes. Only ewe age and twin birth weight were significantly associated (P < 0.05) with measures of lying for WM ewes managed at grass. This information could help guide further research on sheep behaviour for management purposes (e.g., to optimise stocking densities and welfare for pregnant ewes). Further work should also consider evaluating measures of lying as proxies for imminent parturition.

KW - Accelerometers

KW - Behaviour

KW - Lambing

KW - Lying behaviour

KW - Pregnant

KW - Sheep

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85107570920&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.applanim.2021.105370

DO - 10.1016/j.applanim.2021.105370

M3 - Article

VL - 241

JO - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

JF - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

SN - 0168-1591

M1 - 105370

ER -

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