Temperament does not affect the overall establishment of mutual preference between the mother and her young in sheep measured in a choice test

S.L. Bickell, R. Nowak, P. Poindron, F. Sebe, Aprille Chadwick, D. Ferguson, Dominique Blache

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Temperament influences maternal behavior and lamb survival inMerino sheep selected for calm or nervous temperament. The impact of thisselection on mother-young recognition and early expression of temperament inlambs is unknown. We tested the ability of multiparous ewes selected for calm(n¼16) or nervous (n¼18) temperament to recognize their own lambs 6 hr afterparturition, the ability of the lambs to display a preference for their own mother at18 hr, and the temperament of the lambs at 1 and 16 weeks of age. Ewes and lambsfrom both genotypes showed a similar preference for their familiar kin. In contrast,differences in temperament were detectable at 1 and 16 weeks of age. Nervouslambs showed higher vocal and locomotor activity than calm lambs. Thus,temperament did not affect the early process of ewe-lamb bonding but mightaffect the quality of the mother-young relationship under more challengingsituations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)634-642
    JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
    Volume51
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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