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Chapter Twenty-Six. Sheep/Goats. ALAT Presentations Study Tips. If viewing this in PowerPoint, use the icon to run the show (bottom left of screen). Mac users go to “Slide Show > View Show” in menu bar

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Chapter Twenty-Six

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Chapter twenty six l.jpg

Chapter Twenty-Six

Sheep/Goats


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ALAT Presentations Study Tips

  • If viewing this in PowerPoint, use the icon to run the show (bottom left of screen).

    • Mac users go to “Slide Show > View Show” in menu bar

  • Click on the Audio icon: when it appears on the left of the slide to hear the narration.

  • From “File > Print” in the menu bar, choose “notes pages”, “slides 3 per page” or “outline view” for taking notes as you listen and watch the presentation.

    • Start your own notebook with a 3 ring binder, for later study!


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Sheep & Goats

  • Docile nature makes easy handling & housing requirements - from pastures to dog runs

  • Hardy animals, having few natural diseases

  • Herd animals, best to keep them in groups

  • Goats more aggressive than sheep; do not house them in same enclosure; goats will harass sheep.


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Sheep

  • Ruminant

  • Vary in size, wool type & presence or absence of horns

  • Rambouillet, Suffolk, Oxford, Hampshire, Shropshire & Dorset are common breeds in US.

  • Used in reproduction & fetal development studies & cardiovascular research.


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Sheep Handling & Restraint

  • Sheep like to stay in group.

  • Never grasp sheep by wool; this can cause pain & damage underlying tissue.

  • To catch:

    • Work it into a corner, approach slowly, extending arms to form a visual barrier & block path, place 1 hand under lower jaw.

    • Place other hand behind tail or hindquarters;

    • Back up to wall or corner, hold against wall by pressing knee behind sheep’s shoulder

    • Hold by straddling with knees behind shoulders & both hands at head.

      • Keep head high, to prevent breathing from being obstructed.


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Sheep Handling & Restraint II

  • Lift lambs & carry by placing 1 arm around hindquarters & other around front of chest.

  • Tipping - set sheep on its rump w/ back against handler’s legs

    • Handler stands on left side w/ left hand under jaw and left thumb over its muzzle.

    • Right hand rests on right hip.

    • Simultaneously, head is turned back over its right shoulder, & rump is pushed downward.

    • Handler backs up & sheep slides to ground.

    • Forelegs grasped & lifted to straighten position.

    • Step up for sheep’s back to rest against handler’s legs.

    • Control struggling, stepping back to put off balance.


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(Images) Restraining a Sheep


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Sheep Physiological Data

  •  Body temperature: 38.3°-39.9°C (101°-103.8°F)

  •  Heart rate: 60-80 / min.

  •  Respiratory rate: 18-20 / min.

  •  Weight: adult 50-150 kg, depending on breed; newborn 4-5 kg

  •  Water consumption: 1-3 L / day

  •  Food consumption: 1-2 kg / day

  •  Life span: 8-13 years


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Sheep Sexing & Breeding

  • Male sheep is a ram; female sheep is a ewe.

  • Seasonally polyestrous, cycling in fall

    • Udder becomes full & distended near parturition.

    • Water bag protrudes & breaks as labor begin.

    • Lamb presents forelegs first, its head lying on the forelegs.

    • 30 - 45 min., twins born ~ 10 - 20 min. apart

  • Sexual maturity: 5-7 mo.

  • Estrous cycle: 16-17 days (fall and winter only)

  • Gestation: 144-151 days

  • Litter size: 1-3 born in spring

  • Weaning: 8-12 wks


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Sheep Behavior

  • Herd animals, follow a leader

  • Timid, nonaggressive, few defensive behaviors

  • Spend much time grazing & ruminating, while quietly standing or lying down.

  • Change in activity is considered a symptom of disease.


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Sheep Husbandry

  • Housing depends on age & condition of animals, research objectives & available facilities.

  • Outdoors - require minimal accommodations.

  • Provide ventilation and shade as sheep suffer more from extreme heat than cold.

  • Indoors - on concrete w/ bedding or slatted / wire mesh floors.

  • Water in buckets or automatic watering

  • Locate water & feed out of pen to prevent fouling.

  • Shorn 1x/ yr, late winter or early spring.

  • Trim uneven hoof growth - control of hoof rot.

    • Trim about every 3 mos.


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Sheep Diet

  • Ruminant regurgitates rumen into mouth, re-chews & swallows it.

  • Ruminants utilize fibrous foods that cannot be digested by non-ruminants.

  • To maintain proper rumen function, provide large amounts of fiber & roughage.

  • Prefer short grasses for forage.

  • Commercial pelleted feed is available, fed as sole diet or supplement with hay or hay cubes.

  • Have salt or mineral block for sheep available.

  • Give a fixed amount of feed at regular times.

  • Introduce any change in ration gradually.


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Goats

  • Ruminants

  • Domestic breeds vary in size, hair coat type, coloring, head profile, ear formation & presence or absence of horns.

  • Popular breeds in US are Toggenberg, Saanen, Nubian & French Alpine - dairy breeds.

  • Used in studies of placental & fetal surgery, orthopedic procedures & antibody production.


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(Images) Goats


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Goat Handling & Restraint

  • Restrain by chin hold & back into corner same as sheep.

  • Not strong enough to escape from collars, neck chains or halters.

  • Grasp horns for restraint near base to prevent breaking.

  • Laboratory goats should be hornless types or dehorned.

  • Carry small goat same manner as lamb.

  • Caution: mature male can be unpredictable, especially during breeding season.


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Goat Physiological Data

  •  Body temperature: 38.5°-39.7°C (101.3°–103.5°F)

  •  Heart rate: 60-80 / min.

  •  Respiratory rate:

    18-20 / min.

  •  Weight: adult 50-150 kg, depending on breed

  •  Water consumption:

    1.5-4 liters / day

  •  Food consumption: 1-4% of body weight / day

  •  Life span: 8-13 years


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Goat Sexing & Breeding

  • Does in estrus are restless, twitch their tails, & almost constantly bleat.

    • vulva swollen & red, may be slight discharge

  • Male has scent glands - dark, thick, shiny skin located posterior & medial to horns or horn buds.

  • Wattles = nonfunctional pendants of skin that hang on either side of neck.

  • Sexual maturity: 4-5 mo.

  • Estrous cycle: 18-22 days

  • Gestation: 144-151 days

  • Litter size: 2

  • Weaning: 12-16 wks


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Goat Behavior

  • Active, inquisitive

  • Tend to be more destructive than sheep.

  • Agile & adept at jumping & climbing.

  • Become tame & social when handled often.

  • Not aggressive or hard to handle, except mature bucks.

  • Recommended only females or castrated males be used in research laboratories.

  • Quietly ruminate many hours / day, either standing or sternal recumbence.

  • Changes in their habitual behavior may be evidence of disease.


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Goat Husbandry

  • Housing and husbandry identical to sheep.

  • Fence for should be > 1.2 meters high.

    Diet

  • Browsers rather than grazers.

  • Digestive system is similar to sheep, & able to use same types of feeds, including pelleted feed.

  • Less likely to overeat but, may become seriously ill & die if they overeat.

  • May refuse to consume stale, dusty, or dirty food, water or hay offered on floor & show a preference to feed offered on raised feeders.


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(Image) Goat Pens


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Additional Reading

Allen, Matthew J., and Gary Borkowski. The Laboratory Small Ruminants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 1998.

Anderson, R.S. and Edney, A.T.B. Practical Animal Handling. Pergamon Press, Oxford, UK. 1991.

Hecker, J.F. The Sheep as an Experimental Animal. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 1986.s


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