Effect of different types of housing on behavior of Malpura lambs during winter in semi-arid tropical environment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Kalyan De, Davendra Kumar, Kamal Kumar, Artabandhu Sahoo, Syed Mohammad Khursheed Naqvi
Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
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During winter, different types of sheds were constructed to reduce lamb mortality. A study was conducted to assess the effect of different types of housing on the behavior of Malpura lambs during the winter in semiarid tropical condition in terms of suckling, feeding, lying, standing, social interaction, and oral stereotype. Sheds are constructed to reduce winter mortality. This study was carried out for a period of 1 month during winter (January-February). Twenty-one lambs of aged 3-5 weeks were divided into 3 groups of 7 animals each such as G-I (control, n = 7), G-II (bamboo dome, n = 7) and G-III (thermocol-insulated cold-protected shed, n = 7). The G-I lambs were maintained in normal asbestos roofed shed (side wall wire net, curtains at night time), whereas G-II lambs were maintained in a local hand-made bamboo dome structures. G-III lambs were kept in thermocol-insulated (roof and doors were made up of asbestos, thermocol, and polyvinyl chloride sheet, brick side wall) roofed shed from 6:30 pm to 7 am. The lambs were exposed to their mother in the morning (7 am to 7:30 am) and evening (5:30 pm to 6 pm) for suckling. Lambs were provided with ad libitum green fodder, dry roughage, and concentrate in an open area from 8 am to 5:30 pm. Behavioral recording was carried out for 1 animal from each group daily (once weekly for each animal) by 3 people (1 person for 1 lamb). G-III lambs showed higher weekly body weight gain and higher milk intake. Total feeding time was 22.44% higher in G-III compared to G-I lambs. Drinking time was higher in G-I lambs compared with those in the other groups. Standing time was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in G-II lambs, whereas lying time was higher in G-I lambs. The lambs kept in the dome showed a greater frequency of oral stereotypies. The findings from this experiment provide useful information to understand the necessity of adequate space and the effects of temperature requirements for behavioral expression and growth of lambs in semiarid tropical environments.


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