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Ethology, physiological, and ingestive responses of sheep subjected to different temperatures and salinity levels of water

  • Patrício Gomes Leite
  • Jordânio Inácio MarquesEmail author
  • Dermeval Araújo Furtado
  • José Pinheiro Lopes Neto
  • Bonifácio Benício de Souza
  • José Wallace Barbosa do Nascimento
Original Paper

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the physiological responses, ethology, and ingestive behavior of female Morada Nova sheep kept in a thermoneutral environment, after thermal stress and after consuming water with different levels of salinity. Thirty-six Morada Nova females with a mean age of 10.0 ± 2.0 months and a mean weight of 25.0 ± 3.0 kg were evaluated and distributed in a climatic chamber. The experimental design was completely randomized, with a factorial scheme of 2 (air temperature (AT)) × 3 (salinity levels (SLs)) and six replications. The sheep’s physiological responses, ethology (day/night), and ingestive behavior were evaluated while they were subjected to ATs of 26.0 and 32.0 °C and SLs of 3.0, 6.0, and 9.0 dS/m. With elevation in AT, the animals experienced increased (P < 0.05) rectal temperatures (RTs), respiratory rates (RFs), and surface temperatures (STs) and exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) heart rates (HRs). When consuming water with an SL of 9.0 dS/m, a HR reduction (P < 0.05) was observed. Sleep behavior increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in SL during the day. Sleeping and drinking behaviors increased (P < 0.05), and the time of inactivity was reduced (P < 0.05) during the nocturnal period with increased SLs. With increased SLs, sheep consumed more water (P < 0.05) and reduced (P < 0.05) the number of regurgitated ruminal boluses per day (NRBD). Under the conditions of thermal stress (32.0 °C), sheep need to make physiological adjustments to maintain homeothermy. Water consumption of SLs up to 9.0 dS/m causes a higher state of dormancy in female Morada Nova sheep.

Keywords

Animal environment Ethology Saline water Small ruminants Temperature and humidity index 

Notes

Funding information

This study is supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) through scholarship grant and research fund process no. 482955/2012-03.

Compliance with ethical standards

The research was approved by the Research Ethics Committee (CEP) of the Federal University of Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil, under Protocol CEP 284-2015.

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Copyright information

© ISB 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrício Gomes Leite
    • 1
  • Jordânio Inácio Marques
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dermeval Araújo Furtado
    • 1
  • José Pinheiro Lopes Neto
    • 1
  • Bonifácio Benício de Souza
    • 1
  • José Wallace Barbosa do Nascimento
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Campina GrandeCampina GrandeBrazil

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