Behavioural effects of social mixing at different stocking densities in prepubertal lambs

Citation
Jl. Ruiz-de-la-torre et X. Manteca, Behavioural effects of social mixing at different stocking densities in prepubertal lambs, ANIM WELFAR, 8(2), 1999, pp. 117-126
Citations number
22
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences
Journal title
ANIMAL WELFARE
ISSN journal
0962-7286 → ACNP
Volume
8
Issue
2
Year of publication
1999
Pages
117 - 126
Database
ISI
SICI code
0962-7286(199905)8:2<117:BEOSMA>2.0.ZU;2-8
Abstract
The behavioural effects of mixing individuals from two different flocks wer e studied in prepubertal lambs of about 20kg body weight kept at either low (1 animal m(-2)) or high (3.3 animals m(-2)) stocking densities. At both d ensities, flock mates associated preferentially withy one another over the three experimental days. The social mixing conditions decreased the total n umber of aggressive interactions (including head-to-head clashes, head-to-b ody buttings and mountings). Since animals associated preferentially with f lock mates, aggressive behaviours were also preferentially directed towards individuals from the same flock. Males initiated significantly more aggres sive interactions than females. The total number of aggressive interactions received was similar for males and females, but females received more moun tings than males. Stocking density, therefore, had no effect on aggressive behaviour. These results are discussed as they relate to transport and it i s suggested that social mixing may not be a welfare problem in prepubertal lambs.