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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2000;13(11): 1523-1528.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2000.1523    Published online November 1, 2000.
Effects of Dietary Protein Sources and Levels on Heat Production and Thermoregulatory Responses of Sheep Exposed to a High Ambient Temperature
A. Sudarman, T. Ito
Four Suffolk ewes were used in Latin Square switch over design to study the effects of varying levels and sources of protein on heat production and thermoregulatory responses at daytime high (33째C temperature. They were fed Italian ryegrass hay supplemented with fishmeal and/or urea, providing three different levels of crude protein (CP) (low/unsupplemented: 7.9, medium: 11.6, and high: 15.8%) at 1.5횞maintenance. Feeds were distributed at 0900 (30%) and 1700 (70%). Urea diet caused higher heat production and increased vaginal temperature compared to fishmeal and fishmeal-urea mix diets. Time spent standing, skin temperature and respiration rate of sheep fed urea were similar with those of sheep fed fishmeal. Sheep fed diet with low CP level had higher heat production, increased vaginal and skin temperature than sheep fed diet with medium CP content. Sheep on high CP diet produced significantly more heat than sheep fed medium CP diets. Their vaginal temperatures were similar with those of sheep fed medium CP diet but lower than those of sheep fed low CP diet. Respiration rates of sheep and time spent by them for standing on all diets did not differ significantly. These results suggest that urea is inferior protein supplement for thermoregulation of animal at hot environment, as it induced higher heat production than fishmeal and fishmeal-urea mix. Thermoregulatory response on fishmeal-urea mix diet was similar to fishmeal diet. Increasing CP of the diet from low to medium gives advantage for thermoregulation of animal. Increasing CP further to high level was not beneficial as it resulted in the responses of sheep similar to those on low protein diet.
Keywords: Protein Sources; Protein Levels; Heat Production; Thermoregulatory Responses; Sheep; High Ambient Temperature

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