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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2002;15(6): 859-865.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2002.859    Published online January 1, 2002.
Direct Effect of a Hot Environment on Ruminal Motility in Sheep
Katsunori Sunagawa, Yuji Arikawa, Mika Higashi, Hiroshi Matsuda, Hiroshi Takahashi, Zyunichi Kuriwaki, Zuikou Kojiya, Syuntoku Uechi, Fujiya Hongo
Abstract
The aim of this research was to clarify the direct effects of a hot environment on ruminal motility in sheep fed twice a day. In the first experiment, in order to equalize variable factors excluding the ambient temperature between the thermoneutral environment (23 C, relative humidity 80%) and the hot environment (32 C, relative humidity 80%), sheep were fed equal amounts of the same quality feed twice a day. The sheep were allowed free access to water for the duration of the two one-hour feeding periods (10:00 am-11:00 am, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm). On the fourth day after exposure to the hot environment, the frequency and strength of ruminal contractions were continuously recorded between 9:30 am and 11:00 pm. Prior to the exposure to a hot environment the frequency and strength of ruminal contractions were recorded in a thermoneutral environment during the period 9:30 am-11:00 pm. In the second experiment, in order to maintain the stomach content of the sheep at equal levels in both environments, the sheep were fed equal amounts of the same quality feed twice a day. Following the completion of the two one-hour feeding periods, a fixed amount of warm water was infused into the rumen. Rumen motility was then recorded during the same period as for the first experiment (9:30 am-11:00 pm). In the first experiment, when the frequency of ruminal contractions prior to (24, 24 frequency/15 min), during (48, 47 frequency/min) and after (22, 19 frequency/min) both the morning and afternoon feeding in a hot environment was compared with the values from the thermoneutral environment (20, 22; 50, 50; 21, 20 frequency/min), there was found to be no difference. However, the strength of ruminal contractions after morning and afternoon feeding (3.7, 3.1 mm Hg) in the hot environment decreased significantly in comparison with the thermoneutral environment (4.3, 3.8 mm Hg). In the second experiment, the frequency of ruminal contractions in the hot environment was not significantly different from that in the thermoneutral environment. The strength of ruminal contractions after ruminal infusion of warm water in the hot environment (morning: 4.6, afternoon: 4.5 mm Hg) was significantly lower than that in the thermoneutral environment (morning: 5.6, afternoon: 5.0 mm Hg). The results suggest that a hot environment acts directly on the strength of ruminal contractions in sheep fed twice a day rather than on the frequency
Keywords: Ruminal Motility; Hot Environment; Direct Effect; Fed Sheep


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