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Effect of multiple stresses on growth and adaptive capability of Malpura ewes under semi-arid tropical environment

A Publisher’s Erratum to this article was published on 22 February 2014

Abstract

A study was conducted to assess the effect of multiple stresses (thermal, nutritional, and walking stress) on the adaptive capability of Malpura ewes in terms of changes in physiological mechanisms and blood biochemical changes. The study was conducted for a period of 35 days covering two estrous cycles during summer season (April–May). The ewes were randomly allocated into two groups of 12 animals each, viz., GI (n = 12; control) and GII (n = 12; multiple stresses). GI ewes were maintained in the shed while GII ewes were subjected to multiple stresses. GI ewes were maintained in shed while GII ewes were subjected to heat stress by exposing them to 32–44 °C (average 42 °C) and RH of 12–26 % for 6 h from 10:00 to 16:00 h in natural environment. GI ewes were provided with ad libitum feeding while GII ewes were provided with restricted feed (30 % of intake of GI ewes) to induce nutritional stress. Further, GII ewes were subjected to walking stress by forcing them to walk 14 km in two spans between 9:00 and 10:30 h and 15:00 and 16:30 h. Blood collection was done at weekly intervals. Multiple stresses significantly (P < 0.01) affected body weight, respiration rate, pulse rate, rectal temperature, sweating rate, tri-iodo-thyronine, thyroxine, cortisol, hemoglobin, packed cell volume, glucose, and total protein. The findings from this experiment provide useful information to understand the ideal nutrient requirement for these animals to adapt to such stresses in the semi-arid tropical environment without compromising production.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are highly thankful to the Director of the Institute for providing the research facilities and to Shri K.C. Sharma for his technical help during the experiment.

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Correspondence to Veerasamy Sejian.

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An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-014-0555-z.

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Sejian, V., Maurya, V.P., Kumar, K. et al. Effect of multiple stresses on growth and adaptive capability of Malpura ewes under semi-arid tropical environment. Trop Anim Health Prod 45, 107–116 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-012-0180-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-012-0180-7

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Heat stress
  • Locomotion
  • Nutritional restriction
  • Sheep