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ISSUE: Health in sheep
Solution name: Micro-environment parameters for housed sheep
Dairy or/and meat sheep: Dairy and Meat
Source of information: Industry and research
Level of solution:
Aim: Provide proper housing conditions for sheep
When housing sheep indoors, the following micro-environment parameters are advised: ventilation rate in young animals (summer/winter) of 35/20 m3/h/head; ventilation rate in adult animals (summer/winter) 70/45 m3/h/head; lighting (duration/intensity) ≥8 h per day/ ≥100 lux; air temperature (max./min.) 25/5 °C; relative humidity ≤70%; dust <1.6 mg/m3 air; airborne micro-organisms <250 cfu/l air; as for noxious gases: NH3 less than 10 ppm; CO2 less than 2500 ppm; H2S less than <2.5 ppm. During winter, air drafts should be kept to a minimum, especially when newborn lambs are concerned, with a value of maximum 0.4 m/s. Furthermore, UV bulbs are recommended to be used for orphan and underweight or weak lambs of 0-7 days, in order to improve their survival rates. A clean environment will reduce the incidence of pneumonia and other respiratory disorders. Throughout a proper ventilation, heat stress effects during summer season can be limited, without negatively affecting the milk production of ewes or growth rates in lambs.
Expected benefits: Better housing conditions of sheep.