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International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 63, Issue 11, pp 1487–1496 | Cite as

Physiological responses and thermal equilibrium of Jersey dairy cows in tropical environment

  • Sheila Tavares NascimentoEmail author
  • Alex Sandro Campos Maia
  • Vinícius de França Carvalho Fonsêca
  • Carolina Cardoso Nagib Nascimento
  • Marcos Davi de Carvalho
  • Maria da Graça Pinheiro
Special Issue: Brazilian Congress - Jaboticabal 2017

Abstract

Long-term assessments of thermal responses of housed Jersey cows raised in tropical conditions were performed to investigate the effect of climate environment on their physiological performance and thermal equilibrium. Twelve Jersey dairy cows with 326.28 ± 30 kg of body weight, 17.66 ± 1.8 of milk yield, and 165.5 ± 6.8 of days in milking were assigned in two 12 × 12 Latin square designs. Air temperature, relative humidity, partial vapor pressure, direct and diffuse short-wave solar radiation and black globe temperature under the shade, and direct sunlight were recorded. Physiological responses as respiratory rate (RR, breaths min−1), ventilation (VE, L s−1), proportion (%) of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2), saturation pressure (PS{TEXH}), and air temperature (TEXH, °C) of the exhaled air were assessed protected from solar radiation and rain. Rectal temperature (TR, °C), skin temperature (TEP, °C), and hair coat surface temperature (TS, °C) were also recorded. The thermal equilibrium was determined from biophysical equations according to the principles of the energy conservation law in a control volume. Exploratory and confirmatory analyses were performed from principal components and by the least square method, respectively. The cows were evaluated under range of ambient air temperature from 26 to 35 °C, relative humidity from 27 to 89%, and short-wave radiation from 0 to 729 W m−2. Exploratory and confirmatory analyses demonstrated that a similar level of nocturnal and diurnal air temperatures evoked distinct (P < 0.05) responses for rectal (TR, °C) and skin (TEP, °C) temperatures, ventilation (VE, L s−1), tidal volume (TV, L breaths−1), and oxygen consumption (∆O2, %) and carbon dioxide output (∆CO2, %), clearly revealing an endogenous rhythm dependence. In conclusion, these findings clarify how the circadian rhythmicity of the thermal environment and animal’s biological clock dictate dynamics of heat generated by metabolism, dissipated to the environment and physiological parameters of the housed Jersey cows raised in tropical condition; therefore, it is fundamental to help us to understand how the Jersey dairy cows under tropics are affected by the climatic conditions, leading to better ways of the environmental management.

Keywords

Circadian cycle Body temperature Dairy cattle Thermoregulation Tropical climate 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to show our gratitude to the Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios – APTA of Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil, for sharing their animals and the structure so that it was possible to carry out the research.

Funding information

This study was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), process numbers 2011/17388-6 and 2014/09639-7.

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Copyright information

© ISB 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila Tavares Nascimento
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alex Sandro Campos Maia
    • 2
  • Vinícius de França Carvalho Fonsêca
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carolina Cardoso Nagib Nascimento
    • 2
  • Marcos Davi de Carvalho
    • 4
  • Maria da Graça Pinheiro
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary ScienceUniversity of BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Innovation Group of Biometeorology, Behavior and Animal Welfare (INOBIO-MANERA), Biometorology LaboratorySao Paulo State UniversityJaboticabalBrazil
  3. 3.Brain Function Research Group, School of PhysiologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.Granja PiaraPatos de MinasBrazil
  5. 5.Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos AgronegóciosRibeirão PretoBrazil

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