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Changes in skin and rectal temperature in lactating buffaloes provided with showers and wallowing during hot-dry season

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Twelve Murrah buffaloes in second or third parity during early lactation (50–70 days) were selected from the Institute’s herd. All the buffaloes were kept under loose housing system and were provided ad lib green maize fodder and water to drink during 30 days experiment during the month of August- September. The buffaloes were divided into two groups of six each. Showering group (SG) buffaloes were kept under water showers from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., while wallowing group (WG) buffaloes were allowed to wallow in a water pond during the same time. Physiological responses viz. rectal temperature (RT), respiration rate (RR), pulse rate (PR) and skin temperature (ST) were recorded before (8.00 a.m.) and after (4.00 p.m.) showers or wallowing. Skin temperature at different sites i.e. trunk, forehead, udder, udder vein, and neck regions was measured. Skin and rectal temperature of both the groups were non significant in morning but varied (P < 0.01) in the evening. Skin temperature measured at all the sites was significantly lower (P < 0.01) in wallowing buffaloes than the showering group. Further, skin temperature of neck, head, udder, udder vein and RT varied (P < 0.01) in SG and WG buffaloes during periods of study. The significant changes in all the parameters of study further support the evidence on effective cooling of skin by wallowing in comparison to water showers. The correlation data indicated a positive correlation of maximum air temperature with RT in SG but correlation was non-significant in WG. RT was positively correlated with ST in SG (P < 0.05) and WG (P < 0.01). The pooled data analysis of both groups also indicated a positive correlation of maximum temperature with RT (P < 0.05). The morning respiration and pulse rate non-significantly varied in both group, however, in the evening, the respiration rate and pulse rate was more (P < 0.01) in SG in comparison to WG. No adverse effect of wallowing or shower treatment on mastitis incidence and general health of animals was observed.

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Correspondence to Anjali Aggarwal.

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Aggarwal, A., Singh, M. Changes in skin and rectal temperature in lactating buffaloes provided with showers and wallowing during hot-dry season. Trop Anim Health Prod 40, 223–228 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-007-9084-3

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  • Skin temperature
  • Rectal temperature
  • Showers
  • Wallowing
  • Lactating buffaloes
  • Hot dry season