Determinants Of Dominance, Resting Place And Neighbour Preferences In Wrzosówka Polska Ewes Kept Indoors

Marcin T. Górecki 1  and Natalia Dziwińska 1
  • 1 Department of Zoology, Institute of Zoology, Poznań University Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71C, 60-625 Poznań, Poland

Abstract

The aim of this study was to recognize features determining social hierarchy in Wrzosówka Polska ewes kept indoors as well as to investigate their resting place and companionship preferences. Observations (156 hours in total) were carried out in a group of 22 ewes. The social rank of sheep was determined by their age, body weight and length of horns. Social position was positively correlated with aggressive behaviour performed and negatively with aggressive behaviour received. Use of space while resting was influenced by ewe social behaviour; aggressive individuals lied more often in attractive places, namely against walls and fodder troughs compared to other animals. In general, the ewes rested by having physical contact with animals of similar rank and aggressiveness. Kinship appeared not to be important in neighbour preference. As can be concluded, social interactions influenced the use of space and neighbourhood in ewes

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