Effect of season on haircoat characteristics and physiological parameters of Holstein-Gyr x Guzerá crossed heifers

Soraia Rage Rezende, Mara Regina Bueno de Mattos Nascimento, Susiandra Kloster Munhoz, Natascha Almeida Marques da Silva


This study aimed to investigate haircoat characteristics and physiological parameters in summer and winter, morning and afternoon periods, of Holstein-Gyr x Guzerá crossed heifers in tropical environment. For this, twenty crossbred dairy heifers (Holstein-Gyr x Guzerá), reared in the city of Ibiá, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Haircoat thickness, i.e. distance from skin surface until hairend, average hair length, number of hairs per unit area, hair angle to the skin surface, cardiac and respiratory rates, rectal and body surface temperatures were measured. Data underwent analysis of variance and the means were compared by F test at 5% significance, except heart and respiratory rates and skin temperature within the season, which were compared by Mann Whitney test at 5%. For rectal temperature, the maximum value found was 39.53 °C in the summer afternoon. In the afternoon, rectal temperature was higher in summer compared to winter. Respiratory and heart rates and coat surface temperature were higher in the summer (34.00 movements min-1; 78.60 beats min-1; 37.97 °C respectively) compared to the winter (27.47 movements minutes -1; 58.72 beats min-1; 34,94ºC, respectively). Haircoat thickness and hair length were larger in winter (0.73; 1.82 cm, respectively) compared to summer (0.49; 1.11 cm, respectively). We concluded that the season of the year and day period interfere with most of the physiological parameters for thermoregulation and haircoat characteristics of crossbred heifers (Holstein-Gyr x Guzerá); however, they keep homeothermy, therefore are adapted to the region, and may be an alternative to be used by farmers of this region.


Bovine; Respiratory rate; Rectal temperature; Thermoregulation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2017v38n1p381

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
E-mail:  semina.agrarias@uel.br
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