De, K., Kumar, D., Mohapatra, A. et al. 2019. Effect of bedding for reducing the postshearing stress in sheep. Journal of Veterinary Behavior 33, 27-30.

Shearing of sheep is routine management. However, the shearing induces stress in the animal. To reduce the postshearing stress, providing bedding may be an effective method. Therefore, the present study was initiated to assess the effect of bedding for reducing postshearing stress in sheep. For this purpose, sixteen Malpura ewes aged 2-4 years were selected. They were equally divided into two groups, viz, G1: control and G2: provided with bedding. Animals of both the groups were kept under asbestos-roofed, four-sided, chain-link fenced mud-floored house. The ewes of G2 were provided with a 2-inch-thick bedding of chopped mustard straw up to 7 days after shearing. The respiration rate, pulse rate, and rectal temperature were recorded from each sheep in the morning and afternoon during day 1, day 3, and day 5 after shearing. Plasma cortisol was estimated on the same days. All the data were analyzed by general linear models with repeated measures analysis (SPSS 14.0). The rectal temperature was significantly (P < 0.05) higher both in the morning and afternoon in G2 as compared with the G1 ewes. The idle lying time was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the G1 ewes as compared with G2 ewes. Plasma cortisol was higher on day 3 after shearing in the G1 ewes as compared with G2 ewes. Therefore, from the result of the study, it is pertinent to conclude that, after shearing, the sheep modify their behavior to adapt to the stress arising because of the sudden removal of wool insulation. The postshearing stress may be reduced by providing bedding, which was reflected by improving lying time and reduced cortisol level. Therefore, the availability of bedding in postshearing period improves the welfare of sheep.

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