In male goats, self-enurination (SE) is the downward turning of the head and shoulders while urinating onto the face and front legs. Although it provides important chemical cues to females, other males, and even self, it is a costly behavior that can create a range of problems including erythema, irritation, hair loss, and compromised skin. It was hypothesized that the extent of integument damage from SE on bucks' faces and front legs would be increased by housing bucks near females. Four bucks were housed with fence-line contact to females (“Near” bucks), and four bucks were housed without fence-line contact to females (“Far” bucks). Each buck was photographed every other week over an 18-wk period during the breeding season. During each imaging session, seven different photographic views were captured, and burn areas were quantified for each buck. Overall, more Near bucks had urine burn than Far bucks, and Near bucks developed urine burn earlier in the breeding season than did Far bucks. Housing bucks close to females increases the extent of integument damage from SE. These findings may help goat breeders develop management practices to improve animal well-being by minimizing urine burn injury to bucks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Scent marking