Article Text

Long distance transport of lambs and the time needed for subsequent recovery
  1. TG Knowles,
  2. PD Warriss,
  3. SN Brown,
  4. SC Kestin,
  5. SM Rhind,
  6. JE Edwards,
  7. MH Anil and
  8. SK Dolan
  1. Department of Meat Animal Science, University of Bristol, Langford.

Abstract

The effects of nine and 14 hours of road transport and the subsequent recovery in lairage of 392 hill lambs were studied in August and November. The gathering and the handling of the lambs were stressful, both physically and psychologically, and the journey imposed further psychological and metabolic stress. The levels of noise in the trailer were high (90db[A]). There were no measurable differences between the responses of the lambs transported for nine or 14 hours and there appeared to be three stages in their recovery after transport. After the first 24 hours of lairage changes in the blood components usually associated with short term stress and dehydration had recovered; after 96 hours there had been a well defined recovery of liveweight and the levels of most of the metabolites measured appeared to have stabilised and after 144 hours the lambs had recovered almost completely, most of the creatine phosphokinase had been cleared from the plasma and their plasma protein levels had stabilised.

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