Heat Production and Thermoregulatory Responses of Sheep Fed Different Roughage Proportion Diets and Intake Levels When Exposed to a High Ambient Temperature

  • Sudarman, A. (Facility of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University) ;
  • Ito, T. (Facility of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University)
  • Received : 1999.05.06
  • Accepted : 1999.08.17
  • Published : 2000.05.01


Six yearling Suffolk ewes were used to study the effect of different roughage proportion diets (30%=LR, and 70%=HR) and intake levels (0.7 M and 1.3 M) on heat production and thermoregulatory responses in sheep exposed to different ambient temperatures (20 and $30^{\circ}C$). Sheep fed HR had higher heat production (HP) and time spent eating (TSE) and lower time spent standing (TSS) than those fed LR. But effect of roughage proportion on vaginal temperature (Tv) was obvious only at high intake and at $30^{\circ}C$. Sheep fed high intake had higher Tv, HP, TSS, and TSE than those fed low intake. Roughage proportion and intake level did not have an effect on respiration rate (RR), but ambient temperature did. Ambient temperature did not have an effect on HP, TSS and TSE. At $30^{\circ}C$ sheep had higher Tv and RR than those at $20^{\circ}C$. There were interactions between intake level and ambient temperature in TSS, between intake level and roughage proportion in TSE, and between roughage proportion and ambient temperature in HP. Results indicate that high roughage diet imposes a greater potential heat load on animals than low roughage diet when given at high ambient temperature, but not at low ambient temperature. And the effects is more pronounced at high intake.

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