Farming Sheep and Goats

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Abstract

Small ruminants, principally sheep and goats, are farmed across the globe for meat, milk, and fibre, often in some of the harshest climates used for livestock rearing. This chapter considers the different environments in which these animals are farmed, and how this affects the welfare of these species. In particular, the impacts of different farming systems on inspection frequency, ability to meet environmental requirements for good welfare and the nutrition of these species will be discussed. Small ruminants are susceptible to a number of disease conditions, particularly lameness, mastitis, internal and external parasitism, and neonatal morbidity, and can experience high levels of predation, which can be exacerbated in very extensive environments with low levels of inspection. Small ruminants have specific behavioural requirements and whether these can be met by modern farming practices will be considered. In addition, the methods by which these species are typically handled, moved, and managed will be assessed, and their impact on pain, stress, fear, and behavioural responses will be evaluated. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the opportunities for providing good welfare for these species.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Animal Welfare
EditorsAndrew Knight, Clive Phillips, Paula Sparks
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Number of pages14
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781003182351
ISBN (Print)9781032022062
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 15 Aug 2022

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