The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different housing conditions and feeding schedules on the daily rhythm of total locomotor activity (TLA) in sheep. A total of 15 sheep, divided into 3 equal groups, were used. Group A was kept in a grazing area, group B in a box and was fed ad libitum, and group C in a box and was subjected to restrict feeding. TLA was recorded by means of an Actiwatch-Mini actigraphy-based data logger. The application of two-way repeated measures analysis of variance showed a significant effect of time of day and different experimental conditions on TLA in both days of monitoring. Analysis of variance showed statistically significant differences on the amount of TLA between photophase and scotophase in all the 3 groups. The amount of activity during the photophase and the amount of activity during the scotophase were statistically different comparing the 3 groups. TLA showed daily rhythmicity in groups A and B. In conclusion, even if TLA is mainly entrained by photoperiod, the amount of activity may be influenced by housing conditions and food availability.

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2011.02.005

Journal: Journal of Veterinary Behavior. 2011 Jul 1;6(4):243-7

Keywords: feeding schedules, housing conditions, locomotor activity, Sheep,

Applications: Veterinary,

CamNtech Reference: AM11002

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