Field and climatic chamber studies revealed that walking at 4.5 km/h elicited greater thermoregulatory responses in Hereford cattle than did the possession of a wooly hair coat.
Under mild field conditions, walking caused sweating rate to increase to 150–200 g/m2/h within one hour (P<0.001); no significant differences were recorded between wooly-coated and clipped cattle.
Walking at 4.5 km/h on a treadmill in a climate chamber at 38°C and 34 mm Hg water vapour pressure elevated rectal (P<0.001) and skin (P<0.05) temperatures to levels considerably above those in stationary controls. There were no differential effects on sweating or respiratory rates, though the latter were generally higher in the exercising group.
Differences in skin temperature, sweating and respiratory rates between coat-types and exercise groups in the climate chamber were similar, but exercise resulted in a much greater rectal temperature response.
Overall, exercise represented a more potent thermoregulatory stimulus than a wooly hair coat.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Similar content being viewed by others
BIANCA, W. (1959): The effect of clipping the coat on various reactions of calves to heat. J. Agric. Sci., Camb., 52: 380–383.
BOND, T. E., KELLY, C. F. and HEITMAN, H. (1958): Improving livestock environment in high temperature areas. J. Hered., 49: 75–79.
BONSMA, J. (1949): Breeding cattle for increased adaptability to tropical and subtropical environments. J. Agric. Sci., Camb., 39: 204–221.
DOWLING, D. F. (1956): An experimental study of heat tolerance of cattle. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 7: 469–481.
DOWLING, D. F. (1958a): Seasonal changes in coat characters in cattle. Proc. Aust. Soc. Anim. Prod., 2: 69–80.
DOWLING, D. F. (1958b): The significance of sweating in heat tolerance of cattle. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 9: 579–586.
KLEMM, G. F. and ROBINSON, K. W. (1955): The heat tolerance of two breeds of calves from 1 to 12 months of age. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 6: 350–364.
MORAN, J. B. (1973): Heat tolerance of Brahman cross, Buffalo, Banteng and Shorthorn steers during exposure to sun and as a result of exercise. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 24: 775–782.
MURRAY, D. M. (1966): A comparison of cutaneous evaporation rates in cattle exposed to heat in a climate laboratory and in the field. J. Agric. Sci., Camb., 66: 175–179.
MURRAY, D. M. and YEATES, N. T. M. (1967): Walking trials with cattle. II. A comparison of bulls, steers and heifers. J. Agric. Sci., Camb., 69: 71–78.
SCHLEGER, A. V. and TURNER, H. G. (1965): Sweating rates of cattle in the field and their reaction to diurnal and seasonal changes. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 16: 92–106.
SCHMIDT, P. J. (1969): Behaviour of cattle in a hot dry climate. M. Rur. Sc. Thesis, University of New England.
THWAITES, C. J. (1984): A treadmill suitable for exercising cattle and other large animals. Agric Eng.
TURNER, H. G. and SCHLEGER, A. V. (1960): The significance of coat type in cattle. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 11: 645–663.
YEATES, N. T. M. (1955): Photoperiodicity in cattle. I. Seasonal changes in coat characters and their importance in heat regulation. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 6: 891–902.
YEATES, N. T. M. and PARTRIDGE, I. J. (1975): A study of heat tolerance, growth rate and the onset of puberty in Brahman, Santa Gertrudis and Hereford heifers in a humid climate. Fiji Agric. J., 37: 9–16.
About this article
Cite this article
Vajrabukka, C., Thwaites, C.J. The relative influences of exercise and coat-type on the thermoregulatory responses of cattle. Int J Biometeorol 28, 9–15 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02193509