Effect of air temperature and energy intake on body mass, body composition and energy requirements in sheep

A. Allan Degen, B. A. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Body mass was measured and body composition and energy requirements were estimated in sheep at four air temperatures (0°C to 30°C) and at four levels of energy offered (4715 to 11785 kJ/day) at a time when the sheep reached a constant body mass. Final body mass was affected mainly by metabolizable energy intake and, to a lesser extent, by air temperature, whereas maintenance requirements were affected mainly by air temperature. Mean energy requirements were similar and lowest at 20°C and 30°C (407.5 and 410.5 kJ/kg 0.75, respectively) and increased with a decrease in air temperature (528.8 kJ/kg0.75 at 10°C and 713.3 kJ/kg0.75 at 0°C). Absolute total body water volume was related positively to metabolizable energy intake and to air temperature. Absolute fat, protein and ash contents were all affected positively by metabolizable energy intake and tended to be related positively to air temperature. In proportion to body mass, total body water volume decreased with an increase in metabolizable energy intake and with an increase in air temperature. Proportionate fat content increased with an increase in metabolizable energy intake and tended to increase with an increase in air temperature. In contrast, proportionate protein content decreased with an increase in metabolizable energy intake and tended to decrease with an increase in air temperature. In all cases, the multiple linear regression using both air temperature and metabolizable energy intake improved the fit over the simple linear regressions of either air temperature or metabolizable energy intake and lowered the standard error of the estimate. The fit was further improved and the standard error of the estimate was further lowered using a polynomial model with both independent variables to fit the data, since there was little change in the measurements between 20°C and 30°C, as both air temperatures were most likely within the thermal neutral zone of the sheep. It was concluded that total body energy content, total body water volume, fat and protein content of sheep of the same body mass differed or tended to differ when kept at different air temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural Science
Volume138
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics

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