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Maternal and lamb behaviour of the Karacabey Merino ewes at pre- and post-parturition
Ayhan Ceyhan1*, Tamer Sezenler2, Mehmet Akif Yüksel 2 and Mesut Yıldırır2
1Nigde University, Bor Vocational School, Bor, Nigde, Turkey; 2Sheep Research Station, Bandırma, Balıkesir, Turkey

The objective of this study was to investigate the maternal and the lamb behaviours of the Karacabey Merino ewes at pre-parturition and post-parturition periods. Data were collected from 7 heads primiparous and 11 head multiparous ewes and their 19 heads offspring. The average value of ewes' standing/laying number at lambing was not significantly (P>0.05) affected on maternal experience, birth type and sex. The primiparous (15.198 number) ewes have higher number of standing/laying than the multiparous (10.033 number) ewes for the duration of the parturition. The duration of the parturition for the primiparous and the multiparous ewes was 02:19:00 and 1:06:59 hour: minute: second, respectively. The mean values of lamb birth weight, the number of standing/laying, duration of the first head act, duration of the first standing, duration of the first walking, duration of the going towards the teat and duration of the first suckling were 4.87 kg, 10.10 number, 01:34, 16:18, 21:13, 24:36 and 40:35 minute: second, respectively. Experienced ewes began to lick the head and neck of lambs after birth, however, ewes which had given birth for the first time started to lick other parts of the lamb's body. When the lamb attempted to suck, the ewe's circling movement, backing and moving forward behaviours were most often observed among primiparous ewe, whereas, with the multiparous ewes, these negative characteristic were observed very rarely. It can be concluded that multiparous ewes become familiar with their own lamb much quicker compared with the primiparous ewes.

Keywords: Karacabey Merino sheep; maternal behaviour; lamb behaviour
To cite this article: Ceyhan A, T Sezenler, MA Yüksel and M Yıldırır, 2012. Maternal and lamb behaviour of the Karacabey Merino ewes at pre- and post-parturition. Res. Opin. Anim. Vet. Sci., 2(6), 402-409.

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