|Title||An attempt to bond weaned 3-month-old beef heifers to yearling ewes|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1992|
|Authors||Anderson D.M., Hulet CV, Smith J.N, Shupe, W. Larry, Murray L.W.|
|Journal||Applied Animal Behavior Science|
This study was conducted to determine if weaned younger heifers, averaging three months of age, would bond to sheep. To accomplish reciprocal bonding, 90-day-old heifers were penned for 80 d singly or in groups of three with two or five yearling ewes, respectively. Following 40 d and 80 d of pen confinement, the cattle and sheep were observed together while on pasture and interspecific distances were estimated at 15-min intervals over several consecutive hours. Single heifers followed and consistently stayed very close to sheep. However, if two or more heifers were together at pasture, the heifers would not consistently stay with the sheep. Therefore, the attachment of single heifers to sheep is believed to be due to social dependence. During observations when two or more heifers were together at pasture, the yearling ewes which had been penned together with the heifers usually followed the heifers. Additional observations made during this study suggest that yearling ewes will form an attraction and follow cattle when at pasture after having been penned with them for 80 d.