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Improving the welfare of ewes

Code: 9781838792732
A. L. Ridler and K. J. Griffiths, Massey University, New Zealand

Chapter synopsis: Ewes are often grazed in large flocks in extensive pastoral production systems, and it is relatively uncommon for ewes to be individually identified or tallied. Given the relatively low economic value of adult ewes, health or production problems may go unnoticed for some time. Health problems affecting ewes may therefore go unchecked in large flocks or small flocks that are part of larger farming enterprises, and non-evidence-based strategies sometimes used by producers to prevent disease may potentially be more detrimental to ewes than the disease itself. This chapter considers major welfare considerations affecting ewes, including longevity, mortality, undernutrition and body condition score, environment and housing, lambing management and dystocia, vaginal prolapse, lameness and footrot, ectoparasites and on-farm euthanasia. This is followed by a consideration of future trends in research for improving the welfare of ewes.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2016.0019.17
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Longevity, mortality, undernutrition and body condition score 3 Environment and housing 4 Lambing management and dystocia 5 Vaginal prolapse 6 Lameness and footrot 7 Ectoparasites 8 On-farm euthanasia 9 Summary and future trends 10 Where to look for further information 11 References

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