Thermoregulatory Responses of Swamp Buffaloes and Friesian Cows to Diurnal Changes in Temperature

  • Koga, A. (Buffalo and Beef Production R&D Center, Kasetsart University) ;
  • Kurata, K. (Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Tsukuba) ;
  • Furukawa, R. (National Institute of Animal Industry) ;
  • Nakajima, M. (National Institute of Animal Industry) ;
  • Kanai, Y. (Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Tsukuba) ;
  • Chikamune, T. (Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Tsukuba)
  • Received : 1998.09.18
  • Accepted : 1999.02.11
  • Published : 1999.12.01


Several reports have indicated that a rectal temperature of buffaloes is easily influenced by their surroundings. To clarify an effect of changing environmental temperature on thermoregulatory responses of buffaloes, an environment with diurnal temperature changes of $25^{\circ}C$ to $35^{\circ}C$ was created using an artificial climate laboratory. Three swamp buffaloes and three Friesian cows were exposed to three different experimental periods as follows: Period 1 (constant temperature of $30^{\circ}C$, Period 2 (diurnally changing temperature) and Period 3 (diurnally changing temperature and fasting). Heat production, rectal temperature, respiration rate, heart rate and respiration volume were measured during each period. Rectal temperature of the buffaloes fluctuated diurnally with the changing temperature (Periods 2 and 3), but remained constant in cows. Mean heat production was significantly lower in buffaloes than in cows in Period 2 and 3. However, the maximum rectal temperature and the increment of heat production were not always lower in buffaloes than in cows during Period 2. These results show that a rectal temperature and heat production in buffaloes are markedly influenced by the diurnal changes in temperature. Compared with Bos Taurus cows, the differences may be attributed to the physiological features of buffaloes including a high heat conductivity of their bodies and an lower heat production.

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