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Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 191–204 | Cite as

Thermoregulation and Water Balance as Affected by Water and Food Restrictions in Sudanese Desert Goats Fed Good-quality and Poor-quality Diets

  • Muna M.M. Ahmed
  • I.M. El Kheir
Article

Abstract

Nine desert goats were used in a 3×3 Latin square design in which they were subjected to (a) ad libitum water and food (control), (b) ad libitum food and water restricted to about 40% of the control, and (c) ad libitum water and restricted food (same amount as given to group b). Parameters measured were dry matter intake (DMI), water intake, rectal temperature (Tr), respiration rate (RR), water balance and body weight (BW) changes. The acute effects of the above treatments on these parameters were monitored during the dry summer using two types of feed. The ratio of DMI to water intake decreased (p<0.01) due to water restriction but increased (p<0.01) with Lucerne hay compared to grass hay. With both feeds, BW decreased (p<0.01) with water restriction, with a further decrease (p<0.01) observed with food restriction. The control group showed a higher (p<0.01) gain with Lucerne hay than grass hay. Tr and RR increased (p<0.01) from morning to afternoon; Tr decreased due to food restriction during both morning and afternoon with Lucerne hay (p<0.05) and grass hay (p<0.05), whereas RR decreased (p<0.01) with both types of feeds. For all groups of animals, Tr was higher (p<0.05) with Lucerne hay than with grass hay, this effect being more pronounced (p<0.01) with the control group. With both feeds, water restriction decreased (p<0.01) water turnover rate and evaporative losses, with decreased (p<0.05) faecal losses observed in the water-restricted groups on Lucerne hay but higher (p<0.05) losses of urine. The tolerance of desert goats to thermal stress and their coping with shortage of water and food depended on their capacity to lose heat through panting and cutenaous evaporation as well as their ability to concentrate urine.

desert goats thermoregulation water balance 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muna M.M. Ahmed
    • 1
  • I.M. El Kheir
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental StudiesUniversity of KhartoumKhartoumSudan
  2. 2.University of El Zaeim El AsariKhartoumSudan

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