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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #278313

Title: Physiological responses to repeated transportation of gestating Brahman cows

item Price, Debbi - Texas Agrilife Research
item Lewis, Andy - Texas Agrilife Research
item Neuendorff, Don - Texas Agrilife Research
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Welsh Jr, Thomas - Texas Agrilife Research
item Vann, Rhonda - Mississippi State University
item Randel, Ronald - Texas Agrilife Research

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2012
Publication Date: 6/25/2012
Citation: Price, D.M., Lewis, A.W., Neuendorff, D.A., Carroll, J.A., Welsh Jr, T.H., Vann, R.C., Randel, R.D. 2012. Physiological responses to repeated transportation of gestating Brahman cows [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 90:471(E-Suppl. 3).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The transportation process acts as a stressor with adverse effects on animal health and performance. The purpose of this study was to examine physiological responses to repeated transportation of gestating Brahman cows, previously classified as mature cows, into temperament groups of calm, moderate, or temperamental. Brahman cows (n=48) were subjected to 2 hr of transport (T) on d 60, 80, 100, 120, and 140 of gestation. Blood serum collected before and after each T was assayed for glucose and non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations. Indwelling vaginal temperature (VT) monitoring devices were inserted prior to each T and VT were recorded prior to and every 5 min through 30 min after T. Statistical analysis of data used multivariate repeated measures and area under the curve methods. VT and serum glucose concentrations decreased in all temperaments (P < 0.01) with repeated T. On d 60 of T, cows across all temperaments had the highest peak VT. During T, temperamental cows tended (P < 0.09) to have higher peak VT (39.86±0.15 degree C) compared to calm (39.41 ±0.16 degree C) and intermediate cows (39.55±0.08 degree C). Area under the VT curve decreased (P < 0 .003) by d 140 as the cows habituated to T. On d 60 post T, calm cows had numerically lower VT (39.18±0.18 degree C), compared to intermediate and temperamental cows (39.39±0.10 degree C and 39.53±0.17 degree C, respectively). Pre-T glucose concentrations on d 60 were greater (P < 0.03) for temperamental cows (68.13±4.31micrograms/dl) compared to intermediate (53.42±2.78 micrograms/dl) and calm cows (52.76±4.60 micrograms/dl). All cows had increased NEFA concentrations post T, with temperamental cows showing the least change due to T. However, NEFA concentrations did not increase with repeated T (P > 0.10). Glucose concentration was affected (P < 0.02) by a time by temperament interaction with temperamental cows having greater changes in serum glucose. These results reflect the partial acclimation of cows to a stressor over time. Both temperament and the T process influence physiological responses to stress in gestating cows.