Farmers from the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido, the northernmost Island of Japan, make their sheep walk in snow to compensate for the lack of physical activity that the animals usually suffer in winter when flocks spend almost all their time indoors in cattle sheds.
Recently, specialists from Japan’s Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center conducted a series of observations and proved that lack of physical activity in winter reduces the fertility of sheep and makes lambing difficult, Japanese newspaper Asahi reported.
Now, farmers make their flock of pregnant sheep walk 1 km in the snow everyday. The winter walks relieve the animals’ stress and promote safe lamb delivery, which usually starts in Hokkaido in the middle of February.
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