Effects of feed refreshing frequency on behavioural responses of Awassi lambs


Abstract: Sixty 2-month-old, male Awassi lambs were used in this study to investigate the effects of feed refreshing frequencies on behavioural responses of lambs. Treatments consisted of feed refreshing at intervals of 2 h (FR2), 4 h (FR4), 8 h (FR8), 12 h (FR12), and 24 h (FR24). Each lamb within each group kept individually was considered a replicate. All lambs were offered fresh feed ad libitum in each refreshing period for 56 days. Behavioural responses of the lambs were determined individually by monitoring the animals 2 days a week for 30 min at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 24:00, 02:00, 04:00, 06:00 and 08:00 at 5 min intervals. At the end of the study, 25.8%, 20.9%, 18.5%, 14.9%, and 14.6% eating behaviour; 9.6%, 11.5%, 12.3%, 12.8%, and 12.4% ruminating behaviour; 30.4%, 34.3%, 28.2%, 31.3%, and 36.6% standing behaviour; and 29.4%, 28%, 36.3%, 36.8%, and 32.1% resting behaviour were recorded as percentages of daily observed activities of lambs in the FR2, FR4, FR8, FR12, and FR24 groups, respectively. In conclusion, lambs that were offered fresh feed more frequently showed more eating behaviour but less ruminating and standing behaviour. It can be claimed that offering fresh feed 3 times a day will improve the welfare of lambs, with less standing and more resting behaviour.


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