Metabolic Heat Production and Rectal Temperature of Newborn Calves

  • Mundia, C.M. (Department of Animal Science, Hiroshima University) ;
  • Yamamoto, S. (Department of Animal Science, Hiroshima University)
  • Received : 1996.07.30
  • Accepted : 1996.11.11
  • Published : 1997.06.01


Rectal temperature (Tr), skin surface temperatures (Ts), and heart rate (HR) were measured continuously from birth (day 1) till day 7, while resting heat production (HP) was measured in a chamber on days 1, 3, 5 and 7, in order to study the characteristic variation of Tr in newborn calves by heat balance methods. Despite constant levels of milk being given to the newborn calves each day, daily mean resting HP was lowest on the day of birth, then increased to peak on day 3 and then decreased slightly thereafter. Daily mean HR was higher on days 2, 3 and 4, than on other days. Tr exhibited diurnal rhythms and daily mean Tr was low on day 1, high on day 3, and then decreased slightly after day 3. Daily average mean skin temperature (mTs) was similar on all days. Mean body temperature (Tb) exhibited diurnal rhythms and had a similar range between days, suggesting that heat balance and thermoregulation were carried out effectively on each day. The variation of Tb appeared to be synchronized with that of HP and suggested that newborn calves might use variations in the levels of Tb to facilitate the body's required levels of heart loss.