Selection for easier managed sheep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current alterations in the farm environment, such as a reduced number of farm workers, may mean that sheep genotypes that are highly dependent on man for nutritional and reproductive success will experience poorer welfare within that environment. In the past 30 years, average flock size has doubled, and flocks of over 1,000 ewes managed by one stockperson are common. The reduction in the ratio of stockpeople to sheep affects animal welfare, with less time for tasks such as healthcare and inspection. It has also led to increased interest in the development of new genotypes that are better able to look after themselves. Selection and management of sheep to promote behaviours associated with survival, and selection of robust animals that require less human intervention for good welfare, are important breeding goals. As these animals will receive less inspection at close quarters, selection for resistance to disease will have significant animal welfare benefits. In addition, the development of sheep lines that require little or no intervention at lambing will be important. In areas where wool is not valuable, the use of wool-shedding breeds to avoid the stress associated with shearing, and to reduce the incidence of flystrike are already proving to be beneficial. Importantly, this selection should not be interpreted as providing no care to these animals, and careful management during the production of these genotypes is needed to avoid at least transient welfare problems where genotypes and environment (eg lower shepherding) are mismatched.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83 - 92
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Welfare
Volume19
Publication statusFirst published - 2010

Fingerprint

sheep
genotype
wool
animal welfare
flocks
flystrike
animals
farm labor
health services
ewes
breeds
incidence
farms
breeding
reproductive success

Bibliographical note

521145

Keywords

  • Behaviour
  • Breeding
  • Disease resistance
  • Low input

Cite this

Conington, JE ; Collins, J ; Dwyer, CM. / Selection for easier managed sheep. In: Animal Welfare. 2010 ; Vol. 19. pp. 83 - 92.
@article{d8d6405cc19c4a22be626876a9d080d7,
title = "Selection for easier managed sheep",
abstract = "Current alterations in the farm environment, such as a reduced number of farm workers, may mean that sheep genotypes that are highly dependent on man for nutritional and reproductive success will experience poorer welfare within that environment. In the past 30 years, average flock size has doubled, and flocks of over 1,000 ewes managed by one stockperson are common. The reduction in the ratio of stockpeople to sheep affects animal welfare, with less time for tasks such as healthcare and inspection. It has also led to increased interest in the development of new genotypes that are better able to look after themselves. Selection and management of sheep to promote behaviours associated with survival, and selection of robust animals that require less human intervention for good welfare, are important breeding goals. As these animals will receive less inspection at close quarters, selection for resistance to disease will have significant animal welfare benefits. In addition, the development of sheep lines that require little or no intervention at lambing will be important. In areas where wool is not valuable, the use of wool-shedding breeds to avoid the stress associated with shearing, and to reduce the incidence of flystrike are already proving to be beneficial. Importantly, this selection should not be interpreted as providing no care to these animals, and careful management during the production of these genotypes is needed to avoid at least transient welfare problems where genotypes and environment (eg lower shepherding) are mismatched.",
keywords = "Behaviour, Breeding, Disease resistance, Low input",
author = "JE Conington and J Collins and CM Dwyer",
note = "521145",
year = "2010",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "83 -- 92",
journal = "Animal Welfare",
issn = "0962-7286",
publisher = "Universities Federation for Animal Welfare",

}

Selection for easier managed sheep. / Conington, JE; Collins, J; Dwyer, CM.

In: Animal Welfare, Vol. 19, 2010, p. 83 - 92.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Selection for easier managed sheep

AU - Conington, JE

AU - Collins, J

AU - Dwyer, CM

N1 - 521145

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Current alterations in the farm environment, such as a reduced number of farm workers, may mean that sheep genotypes that are highly dependent on man for nutritional and reproductive success will experience poorer welfare within that environment. In the past 30 years, average flock size has doubled, and flocks of over 1,000 ewes managed by one stockperson are common. The reduction in the ratio of stockpeople to sheep affects animal welfare, with less time for tasks such as healthcare and inspection. It has also led to increased interest in the development of new genotypes that are better able to look after themselves. Selection and management of sheep to promote behaviours associated with survival, and selection of robust animals that require less human intervention for good welfare, are important breeding goals. As these animals will receive less inspection at close quarters, selection for resistance to disease will have significant animal welfare benefits. In addition, the development of sheep lines that require little or no intervention at lambing will be important. In areas where wool is not valuable, the use of wool-shedding breeds to avoid the stress associated with shearing, and to reduce the incidence of flystrike are already proving to be beneficial. Importantly, this selection should not be interpreted as providing no care to these animals, and careful management during the production of these genotypes is needed to avoid at least transient welfare problems where genotypes and environment (eg lower shepherding) are mismatched.

AB - Current alterations in the farm environment, such as a reduced number of farm workers, may mean that sheep genotypes that are highly dependent on man for nutritional and reproductive success will experience poorer welfare within that environment. In the past 30 years, average flock size has doubled, and flocks of over 1,000 ewes managed by one stockperson are common. The reduction in the ratio of stockpeople to sheep affects animal welfare, with less time for tasks such as healthcare and inspection. It has also led to increased interest in the development of new genotypes that are better able to look after themselves. Selection and management of sheep to promote behaviours associated with survival, and selection of robust animals that require less human intervention for good welfare, are important breeding goals. As these animals will receive less inspection at close quarters, selection for resistance to disease will have significant animal welfare benefits. In addition, the development of sheep lines that require little or no intervention at lambing will be important. In areas where wool is not valuable, the use of wool-shedding breeds to avoid the stress associated with shearing, and to reduce the incidence of flystrike are already proving to be beneficial. Importantly, this selection should not be interpreted as providing no care to these animals, and careful management during the production of these genotypes is needed to avoid at least transient welfare problems where genotypes and environment (eg lower shepherding) are mismatched.

KW - Behaviour

KW - Breeding

KW - Disease resistance

KW - Low input

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 83

EP - 92

JO - Animal Welfare

JF - Animal Welfare

SN - 0962-7286

ER -