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Preliminary Evaluation of the Apparent Short-term Heat Stress of Dairy Ewes Reared under Hot Summer Conditions

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 26(6): 1035-1042. (doi: 10.13031/2013.35911) @2010
Authors:   P. Panagakis, E. Chronopoulou
Keywords:   Sheep housing, Heat stress, Daily THI-hrs, Black-globe temperature, Respiration rate, Body temperature

Under hot summer conditions dairy ewes of the Chios and the Karagouniko breed had respiration rates (breaths/min) above normal, whereas their body temperature (C) was not affected. The two breeds expressed thermal behavior directly related to the black-globe temperature, namely they seek shade during sun presence and cooled-off at the outside lot during night. As heat ensued towards noon (i.e. increased values of the index), the apparent short-term heat stress of the Chios ewes was milder than that of the Karagouniko ewes as indicated by the significantly lower respiration rate (08:00h: 55.11.6 for the Chios breed vs. 78.52.6 for the Karagouniko breed; 14:00h: 62.81.8 for the Chios breed vs. 91.12.4 for the Karagouniko breed). No body temperature difference was detected. Future experiments have to be conducted to integrate the index with solar radiation and wind speed aiming at a better explanation of the apparent sheep heat stress.

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