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Heat tolerance in Tuli-, and Senepol-, and Brahman-Sired F1 Angus heifers in Florida

, : Heat tolerance in Tuli-, and Senepol-, and Brahman-Sired F1 Angus heifers in Florida. Journal of Animal Science 76(6): 1568-1577, June

We investigated heat tolerance and growth rate in two trials under ambient conditions in central Florida. Trial 1 (1994) involved 38 Brahman (B), 21 Senepol (S), 19 B X Angus (A), 20 S X A, and 20 Tuli (T) X A heifers. Trial 2 (1995) involved 13 A, 35 B, 30 S, 23 B X A, 17 S X A, and 28 T X A heifers. Measurements were made on three consecutive weeks during the hotter and cooler seasons of each year and included rectal temperature (RT, degreeC), respiration rate (RR, bpm), temperament score (TS; 1 = very docile, 5 = very aggressive), blood packed-cell volume (PCV), and plasma cortisol concentration (CORT). Data for RT were transformed (log10 (RT - 371) before analysis. On the hottest date in Trial 1, log10 RT was not different between B (.39 +- 011) and B X A (. 37 +- .016) or between T X A (.35 +- .015) and B X A, but log10 RT was lower (P < .05) in S X A (.30 +- .015) than in either S (.35 +- .015) or T X A. On all dates in Trial 1, RR was lower (P < .05 to .001) and PCV was higher (P < .05 to .001) in B than in B X A. There were few differences in TS except on two dates when B scored higher (P <.01 to .001) than B X A, and these differences were associated with higher (P < .05) CORT in B than in B X A. Using initial BW as a covariate, adjusted ADG (kg) of T X A (.52 +- .023) was not different from adjusted ADG of B X A (.57 +- .024) or S X A (.54 +- .023). On the hottest date in Trial 2, log10 RT and RR were higher (P < .001) in A (.59 +- .017, 74 +- 2.7) than in B (.47 +- .010, 39 +- 1.6), S (.42 +- .011, 50 +- 1.8), and crossbred heifers (.47 +- .011, 60 +- 1.8; .43 +- .014, 55 +- 2.4; and .50 +- .012, 48 +- 2.0 for T X A, S X A and B X A, respectively), and RR was higher (P < .001) in B X A than in B. On the coolest date in Trial 2, RR was slightly lower in B (32 +- .5) than in A (34 +- .7, P <.01) and B X A (36 +- .6, P < .001) and was associated with higher PCV in B than in A. On both dates, TS and CORT were higher (P < .01) in B than in A. In Trial 2, adjusted ADG (kg) was higher (P <.01) in B (.43 +- .017) than in A (.32 +- .033), higher (P <.001) in S (.45 +- .018) than in A, and higher (P <.001) in crossbreds (B X A (.53 +- .023) + S X A (.44 +- .025) + T X A (.46 +- .0191) than in A. These data indicate that heat tolerance in F1 crosses of tropically adapted breeds (Tuli, Senepol, Brahman) with a temperate breed (Angus) is similar to heat tolerance displayed by purebred tropical breeds (Senepol, Brahman).


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