A Physiological Stimulating Factor of Water Intake during and after Dry Forage Feeding in Large-type Goats

  • Received : 2011.08.26
  • Accepted : 2011.12.13
  • Published : 2012.04.01


When ruminants consume dry forage, they also drink large volumes of water. The objective of this study was to clarify which factor produced when feed boluses enter the rumen is mainly responsible for the marked increase in water intake in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period in large-type goats fed on dry forage for 2 h twice daily. Six large-type male esophageal- and ruminal-fistulated goats (crossbred Japanese Saanen/Nubian, aged 2 to 6 years, weighing $85.1{\pm}4.89kg$) were used in two experiments. In experiment 1, the water deprivation (WD) control and the water availability (WA) treatment were conducted to compare changes in water intake during and after dry forage feeding. In experiment 2, a normal feeding conditions (NFC) control and a feed bolus removal (FBR) treatment were carried out to investigate whether decrease in circulating plasma volume or increase in plasma osmolality is mainly responsible for the marked increase in water intake in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period. The results of experiment 1 showed that in the WA treatment, small amounts of water were consumed during the first hour of feeding while the majority of water intake was observed during the second hour of the 2 h feeding period. Therefore, the amounts of water consumed in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period accounted for 82.8% of the total water intake. The results of experiment 2 indicated that in comparison with the NFC control, decrease in plasma volume in the FBR treatment, which was indicated by increase in hematocrit and plasma total protein concentrations, was higher (p<0.05) in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period. However, plasma osmolality in the FBR treatment was lower (p<0.05) than compared to the NFC control from 30 min after the start of feeding. Therefore, thirst level in the FBR treatment was 82.7% less (p<0.01) compared with that in the NFC control upon conclusion of the 30 min drinking period. The results of the study indicate that the increased plasma osmolality in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period is the main physiological stimulating factor of water intake during and after dry forage feeding in large-type goats.


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