A breeding goal to improve the welfare of sheep

Citation
Dr. Scobie et al., A breeding goal to improve the welfare of sheep, ANIM WELFAR, 8(4), 1999, pp. 391-406
Citations number
28
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences
Journal title
ANIMAL WELFARE
ISSN journal
0962-7286 → ACNP
Volume
8
Issue
4
Year of publication
1999
Pages
391 - 406
Database
ISI
SICI code
0962-7286(199911)8:4<391:ABGTIT>2.0.ZU;2-N
Abstract
A polled sheep with a short tail, and devoid of wool on the head legs, bell y and breech, has been proposed as a breeding goal (Scobie et al 1997). Thi s paper examines the practical and welfare implications of such an objectiv e. Mean shearing times were significantly (P < 0.001) slower for control Ro mney (97s) and Coopworth (88s) ewe hoggets compared to times for both breed s after they were 'trimmed' to resemble the breeding goal (47s). Romney wet hers were slower to shear than ewes (P < 0.001), but trimmed wethers (53s) were much faster to sheer than the untrimmed controls (99s). Trimmed sheep produced less wool (pooled mean weights of fleece wool for trimmed sheep vs total wool for controls being 2.5 vs 3.5 kg; P < 0.001), half the differen ce (ie 500g) consisting of lower, value oddment wools from the untrimmed co ntrols. Tails were docked to 0, 20, 40 60, 80 and 100 per cent of the dista nce between the base of the tail and the hock of Perendale lambs, and 0, 20 , 40 and 60 per cent on Coopworths. More dogs accumulated as the tail stump increased in length, although significance was dependent on the time of ye ar and management system. No flystrike (cutaneous myiasis) was observed in Perendales given physical and chemical protection, while a small proportion of all tail lengths were flystruck in Coopworths given only physical prote ction. When shorn as hoggets, the time taken to shear Perendale ewes increa sed with increasing tail length (P < 0.001). Provided the undocked short ta il is bare of wool, the proposed breeding goal should deliver an economic s olution to sheep breeders attempting to satisfy markets conscious of chemic al residue and animal welfare issues in the new millennium.