Assessment of Level of Fear Susceptibility during Machine Milking in Dairy Sheep of Different Ages and Temperament

1 Agricultural Institute, BG - 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Agricultural Institute, BG - 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria


DIMITROV, I., N. STANCHEVA, G. STAIKOVA, J. PEEVA, V. VASILEV and A. APOSTOLOV, 2012. Assessment of level of fear susceptibility during machine milking in dairy sheep of different ages and temperament. Bulg. J.Agric. Sci., 18: 482 - 486

Assessment of level of fear susceptibility during machine milking in dairy sheep of different ages and temperament was made. In Agricultural Institute - Shumen were raised and examined 118 dairy sheep at first lactation (2 years age), 103 dairy sheep at second lactation (3 years age) and 95 dairy sheep at third lactation (4 years age) of Bulgarian Dairy Sheep Synthetic Population. The assessment of level of fear susceptibility and temperament during machine milking was done by a method, worked out and used in Agricultural Institute - Stara Zagora for 22 years using some parameters by which Complex Score (CS) has been formed. It was established that sheep at first lactation showed lower level of fear susceptibility to positioning teat cups compared to those at second and third lactation (Р < 0.001). The values of the parameters which formed the Complex Score (CS) and the parameters of the CS were higher in sheep at second and third lactation compared to those at first lactation (Р < 0.05) which showed that growing up sheep became calm and got used to milking parlor conditions. Higher level of fear, problems in entering and taking place in milking parlor and some anxiety towards the teat cups were examined at first lactation. The differences in the behavior between the separate Complex Score temperament measurements during machine milking were significantly high in Р < 0.001 of all ages. Taking care during the time of sheep adaptation to the machine milking as well as the time of the routine realization of this operation during the completely milking period was distinguished for its important technological meaning and related to some improvement of the machine milking organization.

Key words: temperament, fear susceptibility, age, machine milking, dairy sheep

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