Seasonal variations in thermoregulatory patterns enable Morada Nova sheep to adapt to Brazilian semi-arid

Wilma Emanuela da Silva, Jacinara Hody Gurgel Morais Leite, Wallace Sóstene Tavares da Silva, Renato Diógenes Macedo Paiva, José Ernandes Rufino de Sousa, Débora Andréa Evangelista Façanha


The present study aimed evaluate possible modifications of thermoregulatory morphophysiological responses of Morada Nova sheep throughout the year in 4 properties of the nucleus of participatory genetic breeding. In the months of March, June, September and December, respiratory rate (RR), rectal temperatures (RT) and surface (ST) were recorded as well as the environmental variables air temperature (airT), relative humidity (RH) wind (Ws). Calculated the radiant heat load (RHL) and the Black Globe Humidity Index (BGHI). The coat thickness was measured and hair samples were collected and determined hair density, hair length and hair diameter. Blood collection was collected for determination of T3 and total T4 concentrations. In the rainy season, which includes the months of March and June, higher values of RR and RT, probably due to the combination of high RH, associated to RHL, BGHI and airT were recorded, as these hamper loss and heat. All values of RT independent of month and flocks remained within values considered normal for the species. September and December are inserted in the dry season, with a low RH factor that can facilitate heat loss through evaporation. In these months, lower values of RT and RR were observed when compared to the rainy season, lower values of RR were recorded between 40 and 60 mov.min-1 . The secretion of thyroid hormones was greater in the environmental conditions considered more comfortable. The homeothermia was maintained by Morada Nova sheep at different times evaluated as indicated by the normal physiological parameters. The rainy season was considered the most stressful for the animals, since they used a more intense set of variables in order to thermoregulate and maintain the homeothermia, which justifies the importance of providing shelters, with the objective of reducing the overheating, even in view of their great adaptive capacity, already demonstrated in previous studies. Changes in the coat characteristics were observed during all the months of the year, assisting for either physical protection or heat dissipation and could therefore be indicated as a thermotolerance phenotypic marker with the potential to be used as selection criteria in breeding programs and conservation of resistant animals to heat.


Adaptive characteristics; Coat characteristics; Phenotypic markers.

Full Text:



AL-HAIDARY, A. A.; ALJUMAAH, R. S.; ALSHAIKH, M. A.; ABDOUN, K. A.; SAMARA, E. M.; OKAB, A. B.; ALFURAIJI, M. M. Thermoregulatory and physiological responses of Najdi sheep exposed to environmental heat load prevailing in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan Veterinary Journal, Faisalabd, v. 32, n. 4, p. 515-519, 2012.

BAÊTA, F. C.; SOUZA, C. F. Ambiência em edificações rurais: conforto animal. Viçosa, MG: UFV, 1997. 246 p.

BERTIPAGLIA, E. C. A.; SILVA, R. G.; CARDOSO, V.; MAIA, A. S. C. Estimativas de parâmetros genéticos e fenotípicos de características do pelame e de desempenho reprodutivo de vacas Holandesas em clima tropical. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 36, n. 9, p. 351-359, 2007. DOI:

BRTKO, J.; PASCUAL, A.; ARANDA, A. 3.5.3’-Triiodothyronine nuclear receptors and their role in the thyroid hormone action. Endocrine Regulations, Bratislava, v. 28, n. 3, p. 107-115, 1994.

CENA, K.; MONTEITH, J. L. Transfer processes in animal coats. Radiative transfer. Proceedings of Royal Society of London, London, v. 188, n. 2, p. 377-393, 1975. DOI:

COLLIER, R. J.; GEBREMEDHIN, K. G. Thermal biology of domestic animals. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, California, v. 3, n. 2, p. 513-532, 2015. DOI:

COSTA, W. P.; FAÇANHA, D. A. E.; LEITE, J. H. G. M.; SILVA, R. C. B.; SOUZA, C. H.; CHAVES, D. F.; VASCONCELOS, A. M.; SOTO-BLANCO, B.; VALE, A. M.; PIMENTA-FILHO, E. C. Thermoregulatory responses and blood parameters of locally adapted ewes under natural weather conditions of Brazilian semiarid region. Semina: Ciências Agrárias, Londrina, v. 36, n. 6, p. 4589-4600, 2015. DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359.2015v36n6Supl2p4589

COSTA, W. P.; PIMENTA FILHO, E. C. P.; MORAIS-LEITE, J. H. G.; SILVA, W. S. T.; SILVA, W. E.; LIMA, F. H. S.; PEIXOTO-JÚNIOR, G. N. A.; FAÇANHA, D. A. E. Coat characteristics and physiological responses of locally adapted ewes in semiarid region of Brazil. Semina: Ciências Agrárias, Londrina, v. 39, n. 3, p. 1281-1293, 2018. DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359.2018v39n3p1281

DIAS, M. I. R.; CARNEIRO, M. J. R.; AZEVEDO, J. M. T.; FERREIRA, A. J.; CABRITA, A. M. S. Parâmetros hematológicos de bioquímica sanguínea geral, eletrólitos plasmáticos e das hormonas relacionadas com a função da tiroide na ovelha da raça Churra da Terra Quente. Revista Portuguesa de Ciências Veterinárias, Lisboa, v. 99, n. 550, p. 99-107, 2004.

DICKSON, W. M. Endocrinologia. reprodução e lactação. In: SWENSON, M. J.; REECE, W. O. Dukes - fisiologia dos animais domésticos. 12. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan S. A., 2006. p. 667-671.

FAÇANHA, D. A. E.; SILVA, R. G.; MAIA, A. S. C.; GUILHERMINO, M. M.; VASCONCELOS, A. M. Variação anual de características morfológicas e da temperatura de superfície do pelame de vacas da raça Holandesa em ambiente semiárido. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 39, n. 4, p. 837-844, 2010.

FAÇANHA-MORAIS, D. A. E.; MAIA, A. S. C.; SILVA, R. G.; VASCONCELOS, A. M.; LIMA, P. O.; GUILHERMINO, M. M. Variação anual de hormônios tireoidianos e características termorreguladoras de vacas leiteiras em ambiente quente. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 37, n. 3, p. 538-545, 2008. DOI:

FELDMAN, E, C.; NELSON, R. W. Canine and feline endocrinology and reproduction. 3th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2004. 1089 p.

FERREIRA, A. C. H.; NEIVA, J. N. M.; RODRIGUEZ, N. M.; CAMPOS, W. E.; BORGES, I. Avaliação nutricional do subproduto da agroindústria de abacaxi como aditivo de silagem de capim-elefante. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 38, n. 2, p. 223-229, 2009. DOI:

FERREIRA, J. B.; BEZERRA, A. C. D.; GUILHERMINO, M. M.; MORAIS-LEITE, J. H. G.; SILVA, W. E.; PAIAVA, R. D. M.; BARBOSA, T. N.; SOUZA, J. E. R.; FAÇANHA, D. A. E. Performance, endoparasitary control and blood values of ewes locally adapted in semiarid region. Comparative Immunology. Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Lyon, v. 52, n. 1, p. 23-29, 2017. DOI:

FERREIRA, J. B.; PAIVA, R. D. M.; BEZERRA, A. C. D.; SOUSA, J. E.; FAÇANHA, D.A.E. A multivariate approach to the diagnosis of gastrointestinal infection in ewes. Veterinary Parasitology, Amsterdam, v. 252, p. 95-97, 2018. DOI:

GEBREMEDHIN, K. G.; HILLMAN, P. E.; LEE, C. N.; COLLIER, R. J.; WILLARD, S. T.; ARTHINGTON, J. D.; BROWN-BRANDL, T. M. Sweating rates of dairy cows and beef heifers in hot conditions. Transaction of the ASABE, St. Joseph, v. 51, n. 6, p. 2167-2178, 2008.

HILLMAN, P. E.; GEBREMEDHIN, K. G.; PARKHURST, A.; FUQUAY, J.; WILLARD, S. T. Evaporative and convective cooling of cows in a hot and humid environment. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Enginners, St. Joseph, v. 1, n. 1, p. 343-350, 2001. DOI: 10.13031/2013.24114

HOFFMANN, I. Climate changes and the characterization, breeding and conservation of genetic animal resources. Animal Genetics, Malden, v. 41, n. 1, p. 32-46, 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02043.x

JOHNSON, H. D.; KATTI, P. S.; HAHN, L.; SHANKLIN, M. D. Short-term heat acclimation effects on hormonal profile of lactating cows. Missouri: Agri. Exp. Sta, p. 1-30, 1988. RESEARCH BULLETIN 1061.

KOLUMAN, N.; DASKIRAN, I. Effects of ventilation of the sheep house on heat stress growth and thyroid hormones of lambs. Tropical Animal Health and Production, Roslin, v. 43, n. 6, p. 1123-1127, 2011. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-011-9811-7

LEE, D. H. K. Manual of field studies on heat tolerance of domestic animals. Roma: FAO, 1953. 161 p.

LEITE, J. H. G. M.; FAÇANHA, D. A. E.; COSTA, W. P.; CHAVES, D. F.; GUILHERMINO, M. M.; SILVA, W. S. T.; BERMEJO, L. A. Thermoregulatory responses related to coat traits of Brazilian native ewes: an adaptive approach. Journal of Applied Animal Research, Grange, Irlanda, v. 45, p. 1-7, 2017. DOI: 10.1080/09712119.2017.1302877

LEITE, J. H. G. M.; SILVA, R. G.; SILVA, W.S.T.; SILVA, W.E.;PAIVA, R.D.M.;SOUSA, J.E.R.;ASENSIO, L.A.B.; FAÇANHA, D.A.E. Locally adapted Brazilian ewes with different colors maintain homeothermy during the year in a equatorial semiarid environment. Internationa Journal Biometeorology, Kent, v. 62, n. 9, p. 1635-1644, 2018. DOI:10.1007/s00484-018-1563-x

MAIA, A. S. C.; SILVA, R. G.; BATTISTON LOUREIRO, C. M. Sensible and latent heat loss from body surface of Holstein cows in a Tropical environment. International Journal of Biometeorology, Kent, v. 50, n. 1, p. 17-22, 2005. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-005-0267-1

MAIA, A. S. C.; SILVA, R. G.; BERTIPAGLIA, E. C. A. Características do pelame de vacas Holandesas em ambiente tropical: um estudo genético e adaptativo. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 32, n. 4, p. 843-853, 2003. DOI:

MARAI, I. F. M.; EL-DARAWANY, A. A.; FADIEL, A.; ABDEL-HAFEZ, M. A. M. Physiological traits as affected by heat stress in sheep - a review. Small Ruminant Research, Amsterdam, v. 71, n. 1, p. 1-12, 2007. DOI:

MAURYA, V. P.; SEJIAN, V.; KUMAR, D.; NAQVI, S. M. K. Effect of induced body condition score diferences on sexual behavior, scrotal measurements, semen attributes and endocrine responses in Malpura rams under hot semi-arid environment. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Berlin, v. 94, n. 3, p. 308-317, 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2010.01012.x.

MCARTHUR, A. J. Thermal interaction between animal and microclimate: a comprehensive model. Journal Theoretica Biology. Ann Arbor, Michigan, v. 126. n. 2, p. 203-238, 1987. DOI:

MCDONALD, L. E. Veterinary endocrinology and reproduction. 3th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1980. 560 p.

MCMANUS, C.; PALUDO, G. R.; LOUVANDINI, H.; GUGEL, R.; SASAKI, L. C. B.; PAIVA, S. R. Heat tolerance in Brazilian sheep: physiological and blood parameters. Tropical and Animal Health Production, Roslin, v. 41. n. 1, p. 95-101, 2009. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-008-9162-1

MCNABB, F. M. Thyroid hormones. their activation. degradation and effects on metabolism. The Journal of Nutrition, Philadelphia, v. 125. n. 6, p. 1773-1776, 1995. DOI: 10.1093/jn/125.suppl_6.1773S

NIXON, A. J.; FORD, C. A.; WILDERMOTH, J. E.; CRAVEN, A. J.; ASHBY, M. G.; PEARSON, A. J. Regulation of prolactin receptor expression in ovine skin in relation to circulating prolactin and wool follicle growth status. Journal of Endocrinology, Melbourne, v. 172, n. 3, p. 605-614, 2002. DOI: 0022-0795/02/0172-605

PANAGAKIS, P. Black-globe temperature effect on short-term heat stress of dairy ewes housed under hot weather conditions. Small Ruminant Research, Amsterdam, v. 100, n. 1, p. 96-99, 2011. DOI: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2011.06.006

RANDALL, D.; BURGREEN, W.; FRENCH, K. Animal physiology: mechanisms and adaptations. 4th ed. New York: H. W. Freeman and Company, 1997. 727 p.

ROGER, P. A. The impact of disease and disease prevention on sheep welfare. Small Ruminant Research, Amsterdam, v. 76, n. 1, p. 104-111, 2008. DOI:

RUST, J. M.; RUST, T. Climate change and livestock production: A review with emphasis on Africa. South African Journal Animal Science, Cape Town, v. 43, n. 3, p. 254-267, 2013. DOI:

SEJIAN, V.; MAURYA, V. P.; NAQVI, S. M. K. Adaptability and growth of Malpura ewes subjected to thermal and nutritional stress. Tropical and Animal Health Production, Roslin, v. 42, n. 8, p. 1763-1770, 2010. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-010-9633-z

SILANIKOVE, N. Effects of heat stress on the welfare of extensively managed domestic ruminants. Livestock Production Science, New York, v. 67, n. 1-2, p. 1-18, 2000. DOI:

SILVA, R. G. Biofísica ambiental: os animais e seu ambiente. São Paulo: FUNEP, 2008. 386 p.

SILVA, R. G. Estimativa do balanço térmico por radiação em vacas Holandesas expostas ao sol e à sombra em ambiente tropical. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 28, n. 6. p. 1403-1411, 1999. DOI:

SILVA, R. G. Introdução à bioclimatologia animal. São Paulo: Nobel, 2000. 415 p.

SILVA, R. G.; STARLING, J. M. C. Evaporação cutânea e respiratória em ovinos sob altas temperaturas ambientes. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 32, n. 6, p. 1956-1961, 2003. DOI:

SILVA, W. E.; MORAIS-LEITE, J. H. G.; SOUSA, J. E. R.; COSTA, W. P.; SILVA, W. S. T.; GUILHERMINO, M. M.; ASENSIO, L. A. B.; FAÇANHA, D. A. E. Daily rhythmicity of the thermoregulatory responses of locally adapted Brazilian sheep in a semiarid environment. Internacional Journal Biometeorology, Kent, v. 61, n. 7, p. 1221-1231, 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-016-1300-2

STARLING, J. M. C.; SILVA, R. G.; NEGRAO, J. A.; MAIA, A. S. C.; BUENO, A. R. Variação estacional dos hormônios tireoidianos e do cortisol em ovinos em ambiente tropical. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Viçosa, MG, v. 34, n. 6, p. 2064-2073, 2005. DOI: org/10.1590/S1516-35982005000600032

UDO, H. M. Hair coat characteristics in Friesian heifers in the Netherlands and Kenya. Wagneingen: Meded. Landbouwhogeschool Wagneingen, 1978. 135 p.

VERÍSSIMO, C. J.; TITTO, C. G.; KATIKI, L. M.; BUENO, M. S.; CUNHA, E. A.; MOURAO, G. B.; OTSUK, I. P.; PEREIRA, A. M. F.; NOGUEIRA FILHO, J. C. M.; TITTO, E. A. L. Tolerância ao calor em ovelhas Santa Ines de pelagem clara e escura. Revista Brasileira de Saúde e Produção Animal, Salvador, v. 10, n. 1, p. 159-167, 2009.


Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional