Abstract

This literature review documents behavioural differences in organic and conventional sheep and goats in Norway. Increased indoor space results in increased lying time, more synchronized lying behaviour, less displacements and higher milk yield in sheep, and increased lying time and lower frequency of agonistic behaviour in goats. Sheep and goats spend 45-50 % of their time outdoors when given access to an outdoor yard during winter. Under normal thermal conditions, fully fleeced sheep do not need solid floors of welfare reasons in Norway. Neither do dairy goats in insulated buildings. The significance of different milk feeding strategies in goat kids is poorly documented, but studies on lambs and calves show that suckling increases the growth rate, gives better social competence and more exploratory behaviour. Thus, the organic regulations in Norwegian sheep and goat production have some positive impact on behavioural indicators of sheep and goat welfare, especially during winter housing.

Abstract

In this study, a technique based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) for matching mother reindeer to their calves in order to identify the ownership of the calves is presented. This task is currently performed using manual techniques which are stressful on the animals and herders alike. Various potential WSN technologies are considered. RFID technology was given greater interest as it is widely used in animal identification. A method based on Wi-Fi enabled active RFID tags is proposed in this work. This technique entails the temporary attachment of Wi-Fi enabled RFID tags to the necks of the calf and mother reindeers and to monitor the location of those tags using the Wi-Fi network. A detailed discussion of localization algorithms to monitor the location of the tags and to determine the correlation between any pairs of tags which indicate mother and her calf is presented. This work aims to pave the way for the use of wireless sensor networks for the purpose of matching mother reindeer to their calves and for other matching purposes in animal welfare and industry.

Abstract

In this study, a technique based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) for matching mother reindeer to their calves in order to identify the ownership of the calves is presented. This task is currently performed using manual techniques which are stressful on the animals and herders alike. Various potential WSN technologies are considered. RFID technology was given greater interest as it is widely used in animal identification. A method based on Wi-Fi enabled active RFID tags is proposed in this work. This technique entails the temporary attachment of Wi-Fi enabled RFID tags to the necks of the calf and mother reindeers and to monitor the location of those tags using the Wi-Fi network. A detailed discussion of localization algorithms to monitor the location of the tags and to determine the correlation between any pairs of tags which indicate mother and her calf is presented. This work aims to pave the way for the use of wireless sensor networks for the purpose of matching mother reindeer to their calves and for other matching purposes in animal welfare and industry.

Abstract

The frequency with which ewe lambs lay on wooden surfaces at two levels, called ``double bunks,"" was documented by video recording at 6, 11 and 18 months of age: the number in each of 4 pens (n = 4) lying either on double bunks (DBs) or on the expanded metal floor (EMF) was recorded. At 6 months, lambs were sheared half way through the research period and DBs of two different heights (50/60 cm) and depths (60/75 cm) were tested. At other ages the lambs were sheared before testing and all DBs were the 60 cm 60 cm design. Fully fleeced lambs aged 6 months preferred to lie on EMF rather than DB (P < 0.001). After shearing, the use of EMF for resting declined (P < 0.05) and no significant preference between EMF and DB was found. The lambs tended to lie less when newly sheared (P = 0.06). At 11 months, sheared lambs used DB just as much as EMF, whereas 18 month old sheared ewe lambs tended to choose DB to lie on (P = 0.09). At 6 months, there was a tendency for more lambs to rest at ground level in the DB when headroom was higher at 60 cm (P = 0.1). No other preferences between DB designs were found. The results are discussed according to the regulations for organic sheep farming in Norway. The lambs showed little preference for resting on a DB compared to EMF, so there is insufficient evidence to recommend a two-level, wooden lying area for sheep.

Abstract

Patrolling with livestock guard dogs in mountain rangelands in Norway was evaluated as a method to prevent predation in areas with widely dispersed sheep. In contrast to the traditional use of guard dogs, patrol dogs are closer socially bonded to people and follow a range inspector around. Range inspection was performed in 5 h bouts during three nights per week. The method was tested during three summer seasons in a total of eight sheep flocks grazing in three different mountain ranges. In total, three inspectors and four dogs were involved. Significant reductions in the number of sheep lost were achieved in one of the study areas. Lack of significance in the other areas were mainly due to the size of the area and qualities of the dogs: the range to be patrolled by one man/dog unit should not exceeed 10-12 km2, and the dogs should be experienced guard dogs, which are properly socialized for this method.