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Research Journal of Animal Sciences

Year: 2017  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 6

The Circadian Behavior of Crossbred Duhan Sheep

Wang Yuqin, Shihuibin, Tian Zhilong, Yang Fang, Wu Qiujue, Li Yuanxiao, Zhang Xiaohui, Wang Jianping and Chu Ming-Xing

Abstract

The first generation offspring of Dorper sheep crossed with small-tailed Han sheep was here named “Duhan sheep”. The Duhan cross has high heterosis with a distinct mutton-type physique, enhanced production, disease resistance and strong reproductive performance. In order to determine the timing of animal behaviors such as feeding (eating, drinking and ruminating), moving and sleeping to have a basic understand of Duhan sheep behavior and to make raising and handling sheep less stressful for both the sheep and shepherd the experiment was conducted to observe the behavior of Duhan sheep in household. The results show that An ethogram of Duhan sheep was made up of feeding, sleeping, standing, moving, ruminating and others. There were behavioral differences among different time phage overall day and night under housing condition. The feeding time was 275.08 min, accounting for 19.44%; the resting time of it was 719.39 min, accounting for 50.85%; the movement time of it was 156.45, accounting for 11.06%; the standing time of it was 233.72, accounting for 16.52%; the other behaviors times was 30.26 min, accounting for 2.13% (including drinking water, defecation, grooming, sniffing and vocal, etc). Rumination includes standing rumination and lying rumination and the time of rumination was 275.08 min, accounting for 44.58%. The day movement occurred mostly between 8:00-12:00 and 16:00-21:00; the ingestion and the rumination behaviors both have two peaks, respectively 10:00-12:00, 16:00-19:00, 13:00-16:00 and 4:00-7:00. The resting behavior mostly occurred in the night, along with rumination. The other behaviors occurred at random but defecation occurred mostly in the feeding process. The occurrence of behaviors and rhythms of the Duhan sheep had closely relationship with both captive condition and feeding and manamement methods. The sheep houses could provide a good microclimate condition facility to management for keeper but some natural behavior of sheep could not be fulfilled due to the barren rearing environment and limited space the most important is to make raising and handling sheep less stressful with good project of management.

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