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South African Journal of Animal Science

Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

RIBEIRO, A.R.B. et al. Heat tolerance of Nelore, Senepol x Nelore and Angus x Nelore heifers in the southeast region of Brazil. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 263-265. ISSN 0375-1589.

The Brazilian beef industry has experienced an increase in the utilization of adapted and non-adapted Bos taurus breeds in crossbreeding systems. In spite of this, little is known about the adaptability of these groups and of their crossbred progeny when raised in a tropical climate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the physiological responses related to adaptability of Nelore (NE), crossbred Angus x Nelore (TA) and Senepol x Nelore (SN) cattle submitted to a heat tolerance trial. The study was conducted in the Southeast - Embrapa Cattle (CPPSE), São Carlos, Brazil. During the summer of 2008, 45 heifers, 15 of each breed type, were evaluated over three days: at 7:00 a.m. (resting measure), at 13:00 (after six hours in the sun with no access to water and shade) and at 15:00 (after a further two hours in the sun with access to shade). Rectal temperature and sweating rate were measured and the data were analyzed using restricted maximum likelihood. The effect of breed type was significant for rectal temperature only at 15:00 and for the sweating rate at all three test periods. Based on these results, Senepol x Nelore heifers showed a better adaptation in the heat tolerance test than the other breed types.

Keywords : Thermoregulation; adaptation; sweating rate; heat stress.

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