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Comparison of Behavior of Gökçeada, Maltese and Turkish Saanen Goats in the Pen at Night

Journal: COMU Journal of Agriculture Faculty (Vol.4, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 59-64

Keywords : Lying; standing; rumination; locomotion; interaction;

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The amount and quality of rest is of great importance for animals that spend a large part of their day in the pen. This study examined the behavior of Gökçeada, Maltese and Turkish Saanen goat genotypes in the pen at night. These three genotypes are normally raised under semi–intensive conditions and graze on pasture during the day. 15 goats from each genotype (total 45), in their 4th or 5th month of gestation, were placed for observation in three separate pens size 35 m2 equipped only with automatic water bowls. Observations lasted for 14 hours over ten nights. The number of animals demonstrating behavioral characteristics was determined by the time sampling method at 10–minute intervals via video recordings. Results revealed that the goats spend a significant portion of their time at rest by lying down (76%). Lying was followed by rumination (12.4%), standing (4.9%), tendency for straw bedding (3.2%), locomotion (2.9%) and interaction (0.6%). The Gökçeada genotype differed from other genotypes by demonstrating lying behavior at a lower level (P≤0.05). A tendency for straw bedding was exhibited by the Turkish Saanen genotype at the highest level and by Gökçeada genotypes at the lowest level (P≤0.05). Turkish Saanen goats, with locomotion at a lower level, and Gökçeada goats with interaction at a higher level, differed from the other genotypes (P≤0.05). The Gökçeada genotype, immediately after being taken to the pen, demonstrated lying and standing at a low level and interaction at a high level. Therefore, it would be more effective in regard to animal welfare and productivity if goats of the Gökçeada genotype were grouped according to factors such as horn, age, and gestation during their rest time in the pen.

Last modified: 2018-01-31 18:14:12