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Spatial distribution of Scottish Blackface ewes in comparison to other crossbreds on a hill environment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 November 2017

E P McCloskey
Affiliation:
Queens University, Belfast, United Kingdom
J H McAdam
Affiliation:
Queens University, Belfast, United Kingdom Agri Food and Bioscience Institute, 18a Newforge Lane, Belfast N. Ireland BT9 5PX, United Kingdom
A F Carson
Affiliation:
Agri Food and Bioscience Institute, Hillsborough, Co. Down BT26 6DR, United Kingdom
Corresponding
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Extract

Domestic sheep have a strong social tendency (Dwyer and Lawrence, 1999). Sheep recognise members of their own flock, and social bonds can determine grazing distribution. The distribution and distance between grazing ewes can vary widely depending on availability and quality of vegetation. However it tends to be a characteristic of breed (Sibbald and Hooper, 2003). Hill sheep breeds are known to have a higher flexibility than lowland breeds (Dwyer and Lawrence, 1999) and tend to have less need to be close to other animals in free ranging environments. The aim of this study was to monitor the behaviour and grazing patterns of a traditional upland breed, Scottish Blackface ewes in comparison to a range of other crossbred ewes.

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Theatre Presentations
Copyright
Copyright © The British Society of Animal Science 2009

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References

Dwyer, C.M and Lawrence, A.B. 1999. Ewe-ewe and ewe-lamb behaviour in a hill and lowland breed of sheep: a study using embryo transfer. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 61, 319–334 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sibbald, A.M., Hooper, A.M. 2003. Trade-offs between social behaviour and foraging by sheep in heterogeneous pasture. J. Behavioural Processes 61, 1–12 Google Scholar
Speijers, M.H.M., Carson, A.F., Irwin, D. and Dawson, L.E.R. 2007. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science 2007, 117 Google Scholar

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