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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(5): 655-658.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.655    Published online January 1, 2004.
Effects of Heat Exposure and Restricted Feeding on Behavior, Digestibility and Growth Hormone Secretion in Goats
Takuji Hirayama, Kazuo Katoh
Heat stress is known to affect physiological systems in goats. This study investigated changes in nutrient digestibility, behavior and growth hormone secretion among goats in a hot environment (H; 35 1.2 C, [RH] 80 7.2%, 13 d), and in a thermoneutral environment (T; 20 0.6 C, [RH] 80 3.4%, 20 d), and accompanied by the same restricted diet as provided in the hot environment. The following results were obtained: rectal temperature and water intake were higher in the H treatment than in the T treatment or TR treatment, while hay consumption was lower. CP, NDF and ADF digestibility was highest in H treatment. Time spent eating in the H treatment was also the highest, followed in order by T treatment and TR treatment. Ruminating time was lower in H treatment than in T treatment or TR treatment, and reposing time was highest in the TR treatment. Growth hormone concentrations in T increased 4.5 h after feeding. In H, growth hormone concentrations increased 0.5 h after feeding. However, growth hormone concentrations were not changed following TR feeding. In conclusion, heat exposure in goats decreased feed intake, but increased digestibility. However, when goats in a thermoneutral environment received the same restricted feeding as they received in the hot environment, digestibility increased. Between the H treatment and TR treatment, the changes in digestibility were accomplished by coordinate changes in hormone secretion in order to maintain body homeostasis. To maintain energy balance under a hot temperature or a restricted feeding condition, goats may control their metabolism by changing growth hormone release.
Keywords: GH Secretion; Goat; Heat Stress; Feed Restriction

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