Unni Støbet Lande

Research Station Manager

(+47) 911 77 091
unni.lande@nibio.no

Place
Tingvoll

Visiting address
Gunnars vei 6, NO-6630 Tingvoll

To document

Abstract

Advantages of low input livestock production on large pastures, including animal welfare, biodiversity and low production costs are challenged by losses due to undetected disease, accidents and predation. Precision livestock farming (PLF) enables remote monitoring on individual level with potential for predictive warning. Body temperature (Tb) and heart rate (HR) could be used for early detection of diseases, stress or death. We tested physiological sensors in free-grazing Norwegian white sheep in Norway. Forty Tb sensors and thirty HR sensors were surgically implanted in 40 lambs and 10 ewes. Eight (27%) of the HR and eight (20%) of the Tb sensors were lost during the study period. Two Tb sensors migrated from the abdominal cavity in to the digestive system. ECG based validation of the HR sensors revealed a measurement error of 0.2 bpm (SD 5.2 bpm) and correct measurement quality was assigned in 90% of the measurements. Maximum and minimum HR confirmed by ECG was 197 bpm and 68 bpm respectively. Mean passive HR was 90 bpm (SD=13 bpm) for ewes and 112 bpm (SD=13 bpm) for lambs. Mean Tb for all animals was 39.6°C (range 36.9 to 41.8°C). Tb displayed 24-hour circadian rhythms during 80.7 % but HR only during 41.0 % of the studied period. We established baseline values and conclude that these sensors deliver good quality. For a wide agricultural use, the sensor implantation method has to be further developed and real-time communication technology added.

Abstract

Large areas of farmland are abandoned in Norway, which for various reasons are regarded as undesirable. Loss of farmlandmay have negative implications for biodiversity and ecosystem function and food production potential. The objectives of this study were to assess forage mass production and utilization, botanical composition, lamb performance, and grazing distribution pattern when reintroducing livestock grazing to an abandoned grassland. The study area was located in Central Norway, unmanaged for 12 years. Sheep grazed the area for 10 weeks in 2013 and 4 weeks in spring and autumn, respectively, in 2014 and 2015. During the summer of 2014 and 2015, the area was subjected to the following replicated treatments: (1) No grazing, (2) grazing with heifers, and (3) grazing with ewes and their offspring. The stocking rate was similar in the grazed treatments. Forage biomass production and animal intake were estimated using grazing exclosure cages and botanical composition by visual assessment. Effect on lamb performance was evaluated by live weight gain and slaughter traits in sheep subjected to three treatments: (1) Common farm procedure with summer range pasturing, (2) spring grazing period extended by 1 month on the abandoned grassland before summer range pasturing, and (3) spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland. Grazing distribution patterns were studied using GPS position collars on ewes. Total annual biomass production was on average 72% higher with summer grazing than without. Annual consumption and utilization was on average 218 g DM/m2 and 70% when summer grazed, and 25 g DM/m2 and 18% without grazing, respectively. Botanical composition did not differ between treatments. Live weight gain was higher in lambs subjected to an extended spring grazing period (255 g/d) compared to common farm practice (228 g/d) and spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland (203 g/d), and carcass value was 14% higher in lambs on extended spring grazing compared to common farm practice. In autumn, sheep preferred to graze areas grazed by sheep during summer. Re-introduction of grazing stimulated forage production, and extended spring grazing improved performance in lambs. This study has quantified the value of abandoned grassland as a feed resource.

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Abstract

Can sensor technology and real-time communication detect tick-born fever in sheep on range pasture? Introduction: More than two million sheep graze on unimproved, rough grazing land during the summer months each year in Norway. Free ranging sheep are perceived to experience high level of animal welfare through their opportunity to perform natural behaviour, but these benefits are compromised when sheep experience predator attacks, disease and accidents. Ensuring animal health and welfare in farming systems gets increased attention, and new policies and legislations are implemented. About 125 000 sheep (6-7%) are lost on such pastures every year. Tick-borne fever (TBF) is a disease considered to be a major challenge in sheep farming during the grazing season along the coast of south-western Norway. Clinical signs of TBF is often observed within 14 days of infection, starting with an abrupt rise in rectal temperature (often above 41o C). Being able to monitor farm animals on range pastures is increasingly important and implementing available technology for this purpose should be exploited. Implementation of sensor technology in rangeland sheep farming can monitor physiological parameters, such as body temperature (T) and heart rate (HR). Integrating sensors that communicate in a GPS tracking system may contribute to detect, locate and treat sick animals, as well as improve our knowledge of animal health in time and space in rangeland farming systems. Sensors for sheep that communicate with a GPS system is not commercially available today. The objective of the work presented here is to evaluate if temperature sensor information can be used for early detection of tick-borne fever (TBF). Materials and methods: In 2016, temperature sensors (T) (CentiT Star Oddi, Iceland) were implanted in the abdomen of 20 lambs in a sheep flock in a TBF risk area (coastal herd) and in 20 lambs from one flock in a non-TBF risk area (inland heard) in Norway. The sensors were programmed to log temperature every 10 minutes, and were implanted in lambs in early June and collected in early September to retrieve data. The telemetry system (Telespor, Norway) was used on all lambs, and provided real-time positioning data that was used for continuous surveillance on range pasture. All lambs were monitored twice a day for clinical assessment for a one month period after they were turned out on pasture and weight was recorded at birth, spring and autumn. Remaining lambs in the coastal and inland flock were used as control for effect of sensor implantation on weight gain. Number of fever incidences and magnitude of fever was calculated by estimating area under curve (auc) for each temperature incidence for each lamb. Results: In total 32 (80 %) of 40 implanted T sensors could be retrieved. From the coastal herd 17 of 20 T sensors could be retrieved and from the inland herd 15 of 20 Tb sensors could be retrieved. All 17 retrieved T sensors from the coastal herd and all 15 sensors of the inland herd worked as programmed. All lost sensor were not detected at retrieval as no lambs were missing. Temperature of all lambs in both herds ranged from 36.9 °C to 41.8 °C with a mean of 39.6°C (SD 0.35). Sensor implantation did not affect weight gain. There was a significant difference in fever incidences and magnitude of fever in lambs in the TBF risk area (coastal heard) compared to the lambs in the non-TBF risk area (inland herd). Conclusion: The study shows that real-time temperature information in lambs has potential as a disease alarm.

Abstract

SENSOR TECHNOLOGY TO DETECT TICK-BORNE FEVER IN SHEEP ON RANGE PASTURE? Lise GRØVA 1), Boris Fuchs 2), Emma BRUNBERG 3), Unni Støbet LANDE 2), Kristin SØRHEIM 2), Svein Olav Hvasshovd 4), Solveig Marie Stubsjøen 5) 1) NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Gunnars veg 6, 6630 Tingvoll, Norway; lise.grova@nibio.no 2) Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Campus Evenstad, Elverum, Norway 3) NORSØK, Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture, Gunnars veg 6, 6630 Tingvoll, Norway; emma.brunberg@djurskyddet.se 4) NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway 5) VETINST, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway More than two million sheep graze on unimproved, rough grazing land during the summer months each year in Norway. Free ranging sheep are perceived to experience high level of animal welfare through their opportunity to perform natural behaviour, but these benefits are compromised when sheep experience predator attacks, disease and accidents. Ensuring animal health and welfare in farming systems gets increased attention, and new policies and legislations are implemented. About 125 000 sheep (6-7%) are lost on such pastures every year. Tick-borne fever (TBF) is a disease considered to be a major challenge in sheep farming during the grazing season along the coast of south-western Norway. Clinical signs of TBF is ofte observed within 14 days of infection, starting with an abrupt rise in rectal temperature (often above 41o C). Being able to monitor farm animals on range pastures is increasingly important and implementing available technology for this purpose should be exploited. Implementation of sensor technology in rangeland sheep farming can monitor physiological parameters, such as body temperature (T). Integrating such sensors in a GPS tracking system may contribute to detect, locate and treat sick animals, as well as improve our knowledge of animal health in time and space in rangeland farming systems. The objective of the work presented here is to evaluate if a temperature sensor can be used for early detection of Tick-borne fever (TBF). In 2016, temperature sensors (Star Oddi, Iceland) were implanted in the abdomen of 20 lambs in a one sheep flock in a TBF risk area and in 20 lambs from one flock in a non-TBF risk area in Norway. The sensors were programmed to log temperature every 10 minutes, and were implanted in lambs in early June and collected in early September to retrieve data. Temperature data were obtained from 13 temperature loggers from lambs in the TBF risk are and 14 loggers in the non-TBF risk area. The telemetry system (Telespor, Norway) was used on all lambs, and provided accelerometer information and real-time positioning data that was used for continuous surveillance on range pasture. All animals were monitored twice a day for approximately one month period after turned out on tick infested pastures. Number and magnitude of fever was calculated for each lamb. Preliminary results from this study will be presented at the conference. Keywords: sheep, sensor technology, temperature, tick-borne fever, rangeland

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Abstract

Despite global deforestation some regions, such as Europe, are currently experiencing rapid reforestation. Some of this is unintended woodland encroachment onto farmland as a result of reduced livestock pasture management. Our aim was to determine the likely impacts of this on exposure to ticks and tickborne disease risk for sheep in Norway, a country experiencing ecosystem changes through rapid woodland encroachment as well as increases in abundance and distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks and tick-borne disease incidence. We conducted surveys of I. ricinus ticks on ground vegetation using cloth lure transects and counts of ticks biting lambs on spring pastures, where lambs are exposed to infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of tick-borne fever in livestock. Pastures had higher densities of I. ricinus ticks on the ground vegetation and more ticks biting lambs if there was more tree cover in or adjacent to pastures. Importantly, there was a close correlation between questing tick density on pastures and counts of ticks biting lambs on the same pasture, indicating that cloth lure transects are a good proxy of risk to livestock of tick exposure and tick-borne disease. These findings can inform policy on environmental tick control measures such as habitat management, choice of livestock grazing area and off-host application of tick control agents.

To document

Abstract

1. Population-level management is difficult to achieve if wildlife routinely crosses administrative boundaries, as is particularly frequent for migratory populations. However, the degree of mismatch between management units and scales at which ecological processes operate has rarely been quantified. Such insight is vital for delimiting functional population units of partially migratory species common in northern forest ecosystems. 2. We combined an extensive dataset of 412 GPS-marked red deer (Cervus elaphus) across Norway with information on the size and borders of two administrative levels, the governmental level (municipality) and landowner level (local management units, LMUs), to determine the timing and scale of mismatch between animal space use and management units. We analysed how landscape characteristics affected the use of management units and the timing and likelihood of crossing borders between them, in an effort to delineate more appropriate units in various landscapes. 3. Median municipality size could potentially cover 70% of female and 62% of male annual ranges, while only 12% and 4% of LMUs were expansive enough to accommodate migratory routes in females and males, respectively. Red deer migrate along elevational gradients and are more likely to find both suitable lowland winter habitat and higher summer habitat within management units with variable topography. Consistent with this, the likelihood of border crossing decreased with increasing diversity of elevations. 4. Synthesis and applications. We demonstrate a considerable mismatch between animal space use and management units. Far-ranging movements and frequent administrative border crossings during autumn migration coincides with the period of active management (hunting season). Our study also highlights that, due to extensive movements of males, coordination of management aims may provide a more realistic avenue than increasing sizes of local management units. A more general insight is that the degree of mismatch between range use and management units depends on the season and landscape type. This needs to be accounted for when delimitating functional population units of migratory populations.

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Abstract

Co-existing species at the same trophic level often segregate with respect to diet, habitat use, or spatial distribution, reducing their direct competition for resources. However, temporal patterns in species-specific habitat use, for instance due to climatic variation, may affect the strength of interspecific interactions, and generate temporal variation in niche partitioning. We assessed temporal variation in habitat overlap between a wild ungulate, moose Alces alces, and two freeranging domestic ungulates, sheep Ovis aries and cattle Bos taurus, on a boreal forest range in southern Norway. We also calculated the distance between species’ realised niches, as well as the width of their realised niches to evaluate the extent of temporal niche partitioning under different diurnal weather conditions. Analyses of each habitat variable suggested complex relationships between species-specific habitat use, photoperiod, and weather, related to species-specific behaviour and activity patterns. We found shorter overall niche distance between moose and sheep, compared to moose and cattle, and shorter niche distances during day and night than during the twilight hours. The niche distance between moose and sheep was positively related to temperature during night, but negatively during day. Moreover, niche distance between moose and both sheep and cattle was negatively related to precipitation at daytime. Moose niche width was narrower in periods with short niche distance to sheep, while we did not find such pattern towards cattle. A lack of similar moose response to cattle could be attributed to lower niche overlap between moose and cattle. Our results suggest that temporal niche partitioning between moose and livestock breaks down under the weather conditions that are predicted to become more common as climate change, potentially increasing wildlife-livestock interactions in the future.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grasslands have been abandoned in Norway and are no longer used for production. Knowing that access to spring and autumn pastures is a limiting factor for sheep farmers, this study aims at testing the effect of introducing abandoned farmland into sheep production. One sheep €ock with 83(88) ewes (lambs) in 2014 and 77 (106) ewes (lambs) in 2015 was each year assigned to three treatments: (1) control; common farm procedure with a short spring grazing period before summer grazing on range pasture; (2) spring extended; a four-week extended spring grazing period on abandoned cultivated grassland before summer grazing on range pasture; (3) whole season grazing on abandoned cultivated grassland. Weight gain from spring to autumn, slaughter weight and carcass value were signicantly (P<0.05) higher in lambs assigned to treatment 2, with four weeks extended spring grazing period (255 g day-1, 15.7 kg, 699 NOK), compared to treatment 1 (229 g day-1, 14.3 kg, 615 NOK) and treatment 3 (206 g day-1, 13.2 kg, 548 NOK). !e use of abandoned cultivated grassland for extended spring grazing improved weight gain and slaughter weight, while whole season grazing on abandoned grassland was the least productive option tested.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grasslands have been abandoned in Norway and are no longer used for production. Knowing that access to spring and autumn pastures is a limiting factor for sheep farmers, this study aims at testing the effect of introducing abandoned farmland into sheep production. One sheep €ock with 83(88) ewes (lambs) in 2014 and 77 (106) ewes (lambs) in 2015 was each year assigned to three treatments: (1) control; common farm procedure with a short spring grazing period before summer grazing on range pasture; (2) spring extended; a four-week extended spring grazing period on abandoned cultivated grassland before summer grazing on range pasture; (3) whole season grazing on abandoned cultivated grassland. Weight gain from spring to autumn, slaughter weight and carcass value were signicantly (P<0.05) higher in lambs assigned to treatment 2, with four weeks extended spring grazing period (255 g day-1, 15.7 kg, 699 NOK), compared to treatment 1 (229 g day-1, 14.3 kg, 615 NOK) and treatment 3 (206 g day-1, 13.2 kg, 548 NOK). !e use of abandoned cultivated grassland for extended spring grazing improved weight gain and slaughter weight, while whole season grazing on abandoned grassland was the least productive option tested.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.