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Pastos y Forrajes

Print version ISSN 0864-0394On-line version ISSN 2078-8452


SOLORZANO-MONTILLA, Janet et al. Efecto de la presencia de sombra en áreas de pastoreo de ovinos. 2. Actividad animal: Effect of the presence of shade in sheep grazing areas. 2. Animal activity. Pastos y Forrajes [online]. 2018, vol.41, n.1, pp.41-49. ISSN 0864-0394.

In order to evaluate the activities done by grazing sheep, in the presence or absence of artificial shade, 24 West African ewes of 18,73 ± 2,36 kg of average live weight were used, separated into two treatments: T1: without shade (NS) and T2: with shade (WS). The shade was provided by a canopy of synthetic mesh (70 % shade) in paddocks with Cynodon nlemfuensis. The ambient temperature (AT in ºC), relative humidity (RH in %) and solar radiation (SR in W/m2) were measured; and the temperature and humidity index (THI) was calculated. On three days per week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) observations of the animals were carried out, from 9:00 to 9:30 h and from 13:00 to 13:30 h, during the four weeks of the trial. The activities done by the ewes were recorded: «grazing», «walking», «standing», «ruminating», «defecating», «drinking water» and «urinating». The average AT was 29,8 ºC in the paddock with artificial shade and 29,4 ºC in NS; while RH was higher in WS (62 %) than in NS (51 %). SR was higher in NS (556,6 W/m2) than in WS (0 W/m2). The THI was higher in WS (79,2) than in NS (77,6). The most frequent activity was grazing, which turned out to be higher (p < 0,01) in NS than in WS (71,0 and 65,2 %, respectively). Other less relevant activities were: walking, defecating, urinating, standing, ruminating and drinking water. To conclude, the behavior was affected by climate variables, and the activities were more frequent in treatment NS than in WS.

Keywords : behavior; relative humidity; solar radiation; temperature.

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