Circadian activity rhythm in sheep and goats housed in stable conditions
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The aim of this study was to establish the circadian rhythm of total activity in sheep and goats ept in housed conditions. For our study five Comisana breed sheep and five Maltese breed goats were kept in an individual box of 12 m2 under artificial 12/12 light/dark cycle for 14 days. We equipped the animals with Actiwatch-Mini, by means of collars. A two-way ANOVA was used to determine significant differences between experimental treatments. A paired Student t-test was used to evaluate the differences between photophase and scotophase. The results show that activity in sheep and goats is mainly diurnal, the activity rhythm reaches its peak in the middle of the day. In conclusion small ruminants c classified as diurnal animals, even though they show a variable amounts of activity.
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Giuseppe Piccione, Department Chronophysiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Messina, Italy