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SPACE ALLOWANCE IN CONFINEMENT HOUSING FOR SHEEP: THE EFFECT ON BEHAVIOUR
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005 701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18424)
Authors: K. E. Bøe , S. Berg and I.L. Andersen
Keywords: Sheep housing, space allowance, behaviour
Increased space allowance is usually considered to improve welfare and performance in both
cattle and pigs. However, for sheep there is a lack of data that elucidate the effect of reduced
space allowance. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect of pen shape and space
allowance on the behaviour of ewes. A 2 x 3 factorial experiment was conducted with pen shape
(deep and wide) and lying space (0.5, 0.75 and 1.0 m2/ewe) as main factors. A total of 24 adult
ewes were randomly assigned to six groups with four adult ewes in each group. All groups were
exposed to all the treatments and each treatment period lasted for seven days. The ewes were
videotaped for the two last days of each treatment period, and the general activity, position in the
pen and lying close to other ewes were scored every 15 minutes. In addition all displacements
were scored continuously.