Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Índices de estresse térmico para touros jovens Nelore criados em ambiente tropical

Storti, Andressa AlvesNascimento, Mara Regina Bueno de MattosFaria, Carina Ubirajara deSilva, Natascha Almeida Marques da

Background: Thermal stress indices are important in predicting and choosing means for mitigating heat stress and defining critical environmental conditions for animal welfare and performance. The aim of this study was to determine theassociation between 16 thermal stress indices and thermophysiological variables in young Nellore bulls raised in a tropicalpasture to determine the most effective parameter of heat stress to assist in the management of the thermal environmentand animal welfare.Materials, Methods & Results: Seventy-eight young Nellore bulls (Bos taurus indicus), with a mean age of 10.5 monthsand mean body weight of 242.09 ± 32.17 kg at first collection, and 17.92 months and body weight 335.80 ± 39.02 kg atlast collection, were used. During the experimental period, rectal temperature (RT) and surface temperature at the forehead,scapula, and groin, from which the average surface temperature (AST) was calculated, were measured. The differencebetween the AST and air temperature (i.e., AST - AT) and between the RT and AST (i.e., RT - AST) defined the thermalgradient. For the evaluation of thermal environment, the dry bulb, wet bulb, and globe temperatures, and wind speed weremeasured. Relative humidity, mean radiant temperature, solar radiation, temperature humidity index (THI), black globaltemperature humidity index (BGHI), equivalent temperature index (ETI), environmental stress index (ESI), respiratory ratepredictor (PRR), heat load index (HLI), comprehensive climate index (CCI), and index of thermal stress for cows (ITSC)were calculated. The average and maximum air temperatures were above thermal comfort levels, while the average relativehumidity was within the ideal limit for cattle. The average globe temperature was higher than the air temperature. Solarradiation presented very high values and wind speeds were very low. RT indicated normothermia in the cattle, and ASTand thermal gradient (i.e., AST - AT) indicated thermal comfort...(AU)

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