Behavior of Domestic Animals

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Stockbridge Sch of Agriculture
George Howe

1. Sheep A. Ewe cycle during the fall I. Estrus 30-36 hours II. Higher latitudes show shorter breading season III. Tropics non seasonal breeders IV. Ram effect—presence of ram synchronizes estrus V. Estrus ewe seeks out ram B. Free ranging rams remain with mothers from late spring until following fall when begin to chase ewes I. Adult rams live in all male flocks then move toward ewe flocks before estrus and chase away stranger rams II. Begin fighting (head clashes) before ewes in estrus—sexual contests— winner breeds most ewes C. Courtship I. Ram sniff ewe’s genitalia and may urinate (Flehmen response) a. Can discriminate between estrus and non-estrus ewe II. Ram kicks ewe as he orients himself behind ewe a. After intromission and dismount, ram may sniff ewe’s vulva, appear depressed, and stand near ewe with head down D. Clinical problems I. If reared in monosexual groups or individuals, abnormalities in behavior may exist when exposed to estrous ewes 2. Goats A. Free ranging goats have most success at 5-6 years old I. Related to agonistic behavior B. Doe short day breeds 39 hours every 20-21 days I. Estrous does increase tail wagging, vocalization, urination, an
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