Some responses of hill ewes and lambs to artificial shelter

G. R. Miller
  • Animal Production, February 1968, Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: 10.1017/s0003356100025940

What is it about?

1. Experiments were done to assess the reaction of sheep to small artificial shelters and to study the effect of these shelters on the live-weight gain of young lambs in the springs of 1958, 1959 and 1960. 2. Lambs sought shelter particularly when it was raining. They were sensitive to high wind speed and low temperature but did not usually shelter in mild dry weather. 3. Ewes were indifferent to rain and remained in the open in wet weather while many of their lambs sheltered. They occasionally used the shelters for shade in warm sunny weather when their lambs usually went with them. 4. Because of these differences between ewes and lambs in their response to shelter, during wet weather ewes were less closely associated with their lambs where they had access to shelter than where there was no shelter. 5. In the wet spring of 1958, lambs with access to shelter gained weight more slowly than those without shelter. It is postulated that the lambs with shelter may have consumed less milk than the others due to a weaker social bond with their dams. 6. None of the experiments showed that shelter improved the live-weight performance of young lambs.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Gordon Miller