Animal-Based Measures to Assess the Welfare of Extensively Managed Ewes
AuthorMunoz, C; Campbell, A; Hemsworth, P; Doyle, R
University of Melbourne Author/sHemsworth, Paul; Campbell, Angus; Doyle, Rebecca; Munoz Gallardo, Carolina
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMunoz, C., Campbell, A., Hemsworth, P. & Doyle, R. (2018). Animal-Based Measures to Assess the Welfare of Extensively Managed Ewes. ANIMALS, 8 (1), https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8010002.
Access StatusOpen Access
The reliability and feasibility of 10 animal-based measures of ewe welfare were examined for use in extensive sheep production systems. Measures were: Body condition score (BCS), rumen fill, fleece cleanliness, fleece condition, skin lesions, tail length, dag score, foot-wall integrity, hoof overgrowth and lameness, and all were examined on 100 Merino ewes (aged 2-4 years) during mid-pregnancy, mid-lactation and weaning by a pool of nine trained observers. The measures of BCS, fleece condition, skin lesions, tail length, dag score and lameness were deemed to be reliable and feasible. All had good observer agreement, as determined by the percentage of agreement, Kendall's coefficient of concordance (W) and Kappa (k) values. When combined, these nutritional and health measures provide a snapshot of the current welfare status of ewes, as well as evidencing previous or potential welfare issues.
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