The performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes (Buffalypso) at Aripo Livestock Station, Trinidad, D Dunn, CHO Lallo, D Carnadovan

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Content: The performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes (Buffalypso) at Aripo Livestock Station, Trinidad.
1Danille Dunn,* 2Cicero H. O. Lallo, 3Dreams Carnadovan and 3Govindra Ram 1Department of Animal Science, University of Guelph Canada 2Open Tropical Forages-animal production Laboratory Department of food production, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus Republic of Trinidad and Tobago West Indies 3Aripo Livestock Station, Research Division Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago West Indies
A study was undertaken to analyse the reproductive performance, and thermal tolerance of the buffalypso at Aripo Livestock Station. Retrospective data were collected from records at the Aripo station from approximately 35 female buffaloes, 4 sires and 35 calves for the period 2009 to 2011, where there was a complete data set. The performance data was analysed by the GLM for unbalanced design, and skin temperatures and rectal temperatures were subjected to repeated measure ANOVA, using Genstat discovery edition 4. There was no significant difference between birth weight for sex (p=0.724), parity (p=0.251) and sire (p=0.091). However birth weight differed between years (p=0.012). Similarly, weaning weights showed a similar trend for sex (p=0.472), parity (p=0.347), sire (p=0.515) and year (p=0.044). The average daily gain and yearling weights followed a similar trend year of birth differed (p=0.034) with no differences between parity (p=0.327), sex (p=0.743) and sire (p=0.465). Calving interval showed a significant difference for parity (p=0.034) while differences between dams within the herd just approached significance (p=0.053). Calving distribution showed that 62.4% of the calves were born in the dry season while 37.6% were born in the wet season. The mean calving interval found was 711.86(±64.87) days. The mean rectal temperature for lactating buffalo cows at the Aripo Livestock station housed in open sided house was 38 (±0.12) єC. Lactating dairy cattle had higher skin temperatures than lactating buffalypso (P<0.05). The mean of the lactating dairy cattle side and back skin temperatures were 35.06 (±0.0.39) єC and 35.06 (±0.23) єC. Similarly, the mean buffalypso side and back skin temperatures were 34.50 (±0.23) єC and 34.64 (±0.19) єC, respectively. With normal skin and rectal temperatures, it was concluded that housing and Environmental Management at the Aripo Station had kept the buffaloes thermostable. However, high calving interval and calf mortality need to be addressed by management. The buffalypso, is a valuable national resource and has the potential to help in enhancing the food and protein security in Trinidad and Tobago
Keywords: Buffalypso, Trinidad, heat tolerance, reproductive performance
Water buffaloes Bubalus bubalis are a unique genetic resource of the tropics and a very beneficial animal for enhancing food and protein security in tropical agroecological zones (Kandeepan et al. 2009; 15). The benefits of these animals can be seen in populations found in the Asian regions (Momonogan 1995; 1-17), Trinidad and Tobago (Rastogi and Rastogi 2004; 8) and some African countries (Wilson 2012; 1367-1373). The buffalo has the unique ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions to which it is exposed. This ability, along with the trait of being able to be productive up to and over ten years of age has led to an increase in the population 97 Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) Vol. 90 No. 2 April 2013
of the Italian herd (Catillo et al. 2002; 12981306). The world population of buffaloes has been declining over the years. Trinidad and Tobago is no exception; this decline can be attributed to an outbreak of brucellosis in the Caroni (1975) herd (Fosgate et al. 2011; 1479-1486), the closure of that company, lack of policy direction and no real intervention by the government. A Buffalo population was brought to Trinidad and Tobago from India around 1900 to 1949 (Rastogi and Rastogi 2004; 8) for use in the sugar cane industry as draught animals. With the advent of the tractor and the use of fossil fuels in the sugar cane industry this 0041-3216/2013/020097-12 © 2013 Trop. Agric. (Trinidad)
Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
was discontinued. A breeding program under Dr Steve Bennett initiated the development of the buffalo as a beef producer (buffalypso) (Bennett et al. 2007; 179-183). Work on the performance and nutrition of the buffalypso under feedlot conditions was initiated at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre (Garcia et al. 1991; 876-892). However, no recent study was done on evaluating the reproductive performance of the buffalypso population kept at Mora Valley and La Gloria and none was done on evaluating heat tolerance. The Aripo Livestock station has the largest repository of buffalypso genetic materials on the island outside of Mora Valley and La Gloria. The objective of this study was to analyse the reproductive performance, and to access thermal tolerance of the buffalypso at Aripo Livestock Station. Materials and methods Location and Climate The Aripo livestock station is located in Trinidad, Longitude 61° W and latitude 11 °N. The Average temperature is 30°C and there is a dry season from January to May and a wet season from June to December.
Animal and Management The herd is divided into 2 breeding groups at Aripo; the first group consisted of 27 females while the second consisted of 47 females. There was one bull present in each of the breeding groups. However, over the period 2009 to 2012 four bulls were used in the breeding program. The buffalo ID numbers are branded on their horns as seen in Plate 1. When a calf was born, it resided with the mother and was weaned at 4 months old. The breeding groups were allowed to graze at pasture while the lactating and pregnant animals close to calving were housed inside an open sided, naturally ventilated house and zero-grazed. Lactating animals were brought into the tie stalls for milking in the morning and the evening (Plate 2). Feeding The buffaloes had access to tanner grass (Brachiaria arrecta) at pasture, water ad libitum with a stocking density of 2.5 animal/ha. The breeding groups were fed a supplemental concentrate (14% CP) at an average rate of 2.4 kg per hd/d.
Plate 1: Horn branding at Aripo Livestock station, Trinidad Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) Vol. 90 No. 2 April 2013 98
Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
Plate 2: lactating buffalypso in tie stall for milking
Plate 3: Using calf to encourage dam to let down milk
Heat tolerance Heat tolerance studies were conducted over a 6 week period at the station and all observations were run concurrently. Side skin temperatures were taken from 6 randomly selected females from each group at three different physiological states
lactating, pregnant and growing buffaloes. A second study was done where side and back skin temperatures were taken from 10 each, randomly selected lactating buffalo and lactating grade Holstein dairy cattle between 12:00 am -1:00 pm. Skin surface temperature was taken using thermometry, (laser thermometer from the Tough Cam
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thermal imaging camera) from Infrared Cameras INC. Model No. AC 116 (ICI). Texas, USA. Rectal temperature was taken for lactating buffaloes in tie stalls between 10:00 to 11:00 am. Rectal temperature was measured using a thermistor thermometer Digi-sense ® model No. 8525-00 supplied by Cole-Parmer Institute Co. USA. Ambient temperature and humidity was taken using a portable thermo hydrometer (Hanna Instrument, Italy, No. H1g3640) Statistical Design and Analysis Retrospective data was collected from records at the Aripo station for approximately 35 female buffaloes, 4 sires and 35 calves, where there was a completed data set for the period 2009 to 2012. The performance data were analysed by the GLM for unbalanced design using Genstat discovery edition 4 (VSNI, 2011). The model is represented as follows: Where Y=observed values = mean = sex = year = parity = sire Model for calving interval: =parity The temperature humidity index was calculated based on the formula by Hahn et
al. 2003; 31-44. Skin temperatures and rectal temperatures were subjected to repeated measure ANOVA, Genstat discovery 4 (VSNI, 2011). Results Pre-wean performance of buffalo Table 1 summarized the pre-wean performance and yearling weight at the Aripo Livestock Station. There was no significant difference between birth weight for sex (p=0.724), parity (p=0.251) and sire (p=0.091). However birth weight differed between years (p=0.012). Similarly, weaning weight showed a similar trend for sex (p=0.472), parity (p=0.347), sire (p=0.515) and year (p=0.044) The yearling weight followed a similar trend but year of birth differed (p=0. 034) with no differences between parity (p=0.327), sex (p=0.743) and sire (p=0.465). Average daily gain also showed that the year of birth was significantly different (p=0.030) but not for parity (p=0.319), sex (p=0.743) and sire (p=0.435). Dam productivity Table 2 summarizes calving interval for buffalo at Aripo. Calving interval showed a significant difference for parity (p=0.034) while differences between dams within the herd just approached significance (p=0.053). Calving distribution showed that 62.4% of the calves were born in the dry season while 37.6% were born in the wet season. The mean calving interval found was 711.86 (±64.87) days. Figure 1 shows calf births over the months, by season. The calving peaked during the dry season in April and it was lowest in September during the wet season.
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Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
Table 1: The pre-wean performance, average daily gain, yearling weight for buffaloes at Aripo Livestock station, Trinidad.
Pre- wean performance
YEAR: Birth weight (kg) weaning wt (kg)
ADG (g/day)
2009 2010 2011
33. 52(±2.77)a 37. 14(±1. 75)b 38. 91(±1.33)b
133.9(±20.54) a 162.9(±12.97) b 147.9(±9.84) a
809.5(±164.6) a 1014(±103.9) b 879.2(±78.9) a
SEX: Male Female
38. 19(±0.75)a 37. 67(±0.78)a
151.8(±5.58) a 153.3(±5.78) a
916. 5(±44. 73) a 932. 2(±46. 34) a
SIRE: 4629 4648 6900 Cassie
40.82(±2.33) a 46.15 (±3.46) a 42.78(±2.33) a 35. 48(±1.27) a
128.8(±17.28) a 150.1(±25.67) a 133.6(±17.29) a 163.7(±9. 42) b
709.8(±138. 4) a 838.2(±205. 7) a 732.5(±138. 6) a 1034.0(±75. 5) a
PARITY: 1 2 3 4
39.76(± 2.06) a 37.33 (± 0.93) a 37.19 (± 0.85) a 40.37 (± 1.50) a
127.0(±15.31) a 160.1(±6.93) b 158.7(±6.35) b 135.3(±11.11) a
703.8(±122.65) a 989.8(±55.56) a 980.1(±50.85) a 765.3(±89. 03) a
ab Means within a column without a common superscript letter differ (p<0. 05)
Yearling wt. (Kg) 329(±60.0) a 407.4(±37.94) b 359.8(±28.79) a 372.2(±16.33) a 377.9(±16.92) a 299.9(±50.54) a 352.1 (±75.11) a 310.2(±50.58 a 412.9(±27.56) a 296.6(±44.77) a 398.6 (±20.28) a 394.9(±18.56) a 319.7(±32.50) a
Table 2: The calving interval of buffalo cows at the Aripo Livestock Station
Calving interval (days)
Year
2009
881.2 (±209.6) a
2010
631.5 (±89.4) b
2011
869.5 (±71.9) a
Parity
1
779.8 (±48.91) a
2
714.1 (±76.69) a
3
922.6 (±143.52) c
ab Means within a column without a common superscript letters differ (p<0. 05)
Percentage calving distribution 20
15
10
5
percentage calving
distribution 0
percent of calves January February March April May June July August September October November December
Month of the year
Dry season
Wet season
Figure 1: Percentage of calves born by month and season 101 Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) Vol. 90 No. 2 April 2013
side skin temperature/ degree celcuis
Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
Comparision of skin temperature for buffaloes at different physiological states
37
36
35
34
33
32
milking
pregnant
31
growing
30
29
28
1
2
3
4
5
6
animal number
Figure 2: Side skin temperatures for female buffaloes at different physiological states
temperature/ degree C
Comparing side temperature of cattle and buffalo
39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 animal number
cow side temperature buffalo side temperature
Figure 3: Side temperature for lactating dairy cattle and lactating buffalo at the Aripo livestock station
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Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
Mortality rate Out of the 100 Dams that calved between 2006 and 2012, 3 deaths were recorded. Therefore, the cow mortality rate was calculated at 3% for the Aripo herd. The mortality rate in calves was 2.2% in 2007, 2.9 in 2008, 3.2 in 2009, 37.0% in 2010 and 15.4% in 2011. Thermogram analysis, Rectal and Skin temperatures The mean THI inside the house was 83.0 (±1.64) and outside the house 83.3 (±2.0) for lactating buffaloes. The mean rectal temperature for lactating buffalo cows at the Aripo Livestock station housed in open sided house was 38 (±0.12) єC. Figure 2 shows the range of side skin temperatures for female
buffaloes at different physiological states at the Aripo Livestock Station. This showed that in general, the lactating cows had the highest average skin temperature of 35.0 (±0.23) єC. Figures 3 and 4 showed the comparison of lactating buffalypso cow skin temperature when compared to lactating dairy cattle (grade Holstein) skin temperature. Lactating dairy cattle had higher side skin temperatures than buffalypso (P<0.05). The mean of the lactating cattle side and back skin temperature was 35.06(±0.0.39) єC and 35.06 (±0.23) єC. Similarly the mean lactating buffalypso side and back skin temperatures were 34.50 (±0.23)єC and 34.64 (±0.19) єC, respectively. Thermogram analysis showed where the lactating buffalo was dissipating heat when located in shaded and un-shaded areas (Figure 5).
temperature/ degree C
Comparing back skin temperatures of cattle and buffalypso
36.5 36 35.5 35 34.5 34 33.5 33 32.5 32 31.5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
cow back temp bufalo back temp
animal number
Figure 4: Back temperature for lactating dairy cattle and lactating buffalo at the Aripo livestock station
103 Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) Vol. 90 No. 2 April 2013
Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al. (a)
(b)
Figure 5: Thermogram analysis showing heat loss pattern (a) shaded area (b) un-shaded area for lactating buffalo
Discussion Thermal Tolerance of buffalo Thermal indices such as the Thermal Heat Index (THI) have proven to be a useful tool for the basis of productivity of the livestock response function (Hahn et al. 2003; 31-44); although some limitations were found related to air speed and radiation heat load (Gaughan et al. 2012; 234-265). Nevertheless, THI is still one of the best methods used to evaluate the effect of the environment on the animal. Marai and Haeeb (2010, 89-109) indicated in their review on water buffaloes, that there is a range of THI at which the animals performed better. This range was 72-81 and compares with other reports of 75 indicated by Vale (2007; 130-142) and 77.8 reported by Gudev et al. (2007; 127-133).
The Aripo livestock station had a THI inside the house of 83.0 (±1.64) and outside the house 83.3 (±2.0). The Water Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are homoeothermic mammals; as such they have the ability to control their core body temperature within a relatively narrow range under a wide range of environmental conditions (Marai and Haeeb 2010, 89-109; Khalifa 2003; 15-27). The water buffalo is said to be the least thermostable of mammals (Nagia et al. 1980; 185-188); in agreement, Alam et al. (2010, 13-17) reported that during hot weather conditions, buffaloes exhibited higher frequency of heat stress signs than cattle. The effect of climatic conditions (temperature and humidity) and response to heat load can be assessed by using rectal temperature, skin temperature and respiration rate (Marai and Haeeb 2010, 89-109; Spiers Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) Vol. 90 No. 2 April 2013 104
Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
2012, 17-34). Water buffaloes are not very amicable to having their rectal temperature taken, thus, rectal temperatures are not always a feasible option (Alam et al. 2010, 13-17). Even though the THI was above the recommended range, mean rectal temperatures of the housed lactating buffaloes was 38 (±0.12) єC and was within the normal range for buffalo 36.4єC to 40.1єC (Spiers 2012, 17-34) and compares with 37.8 єC to 38.0 єC reported by Marai and Haeeb (2010). Skin temperatures were taken for the lactating buffaloes (comparing the skin temperatures with that of lactating grade Holstein dairy cattle). The lactating buffalypso at Aripo Livestock station had a mean side skin temperature of 34.50 (±0.23) єC and a mean back temperature of 34.64 (±0.19) єC which was lower (p>0.05) than that of the cattle. . The side skin temperature of the dairy cattle at the station was 35.06 (±0.39) °C and the back skin temperature was 35.06 (±0.23)°C, respectively. BOSTID (1981, 20-30) stated that the body temperatures of the water buffaloes were usually lower than that of cattle. This would be in agreement with current results at Aripo. The buffaloes were housed in an open sided house not in direct sunlight with a constant air circulation flowing through; stocking density was low, with water provided and they have water ad libitum. Other environmental management methods employed at the station that can decrease heat stress due to high THI, include misters causing evaporative cooling (Gebremedhin 2012, 35-48) and wallows (Marai and Haeeb 2010, 89-109). Thus, the housing and environmental management at the Aripo station can explain current results for rectal and skin temperature observations. Animal performance Mean (±SEM) birth weight of buffalo calves was 37.9 (±0.59) kg; this is in agreement with other reports of 30.8 kg in Australia (Tulloch 1968, 144-147) and 33.6 kg in India (Naqvi 1999, 119-122). In the present study, there was no significant difference in birth weights between males and females (p>0.05); this was not in agreement with the report of Naqvi
(1999, 119-122) where the males had a significantly higher birth weight. The mean weaning weight at 4 months of age was 152.53 (±3.89) kg; this was an improvement from 80 kg in 2004 reported by Rastogi and Rastogi (2004, 8). The mean milk yield was recorded at 0.316(±0.11) kg/hd/d, milk yield reported in 2004 at Aripo Station was 3.09 kg/hd/d (Rastogi and Rastogi 2004, 8). These results may have reflected the change in management since cows were not milked completely and the calves were allowed to suckle the dam overnight. This may also explain pre-wean ADG of 256g/day reported by Abeygunawardena (1995, 67-94) and the current result of 924 (±31.9) g/day. It was suggested that the growth rate of the calves in the first four months of life decreased when they were not allowed to suckle (Ahmed and El-Shazly 1978, 14-15). Reproduction Over the years reproductive studies have been done at the station such as that of Lambie (2009, 1-101) carried out with the use of exogenous hormones on the breeding groups. This disrupted the breeding cycle due largely to management and the timely return of bulls to the experimental groups after these studies were completed. This may explain the rather high calving interval of 711.87 (±64.87) days observed, and the variance when compared to the literature of 385 days recorded by Bennett et al. (2007, 179-183). However, intervals of 519 to 585days was reported for buffaloes in the Philippines (Olcott and Olcott 2006, 1-5). A decrease in sexual activity is recorded in the buffaloes during the summer/dry months (Das and Khan 2010, 483-494). Singh et al. (2000, 593-604) noted that there was lower reproductive function during the summer months and that the water buffaloes in India were mainly pregnant during the hot months. According to Da Costa et al. (2000, 1-10) in Brazil 97% of calving took place during the dry season between February and May. The present study is in agreement with this result where 62.4% calving took place in the dry season from January to June, compared to 37.6% in the wet season. The
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Performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes; Dunn et al.
seasonality of reproduction in the water buffaloes depends on many factors including location and climate (Das and Khan 2010, 483-494). Calf mortality ranged from 2.3 to 37%, but the reason for the high mortality could not be determinded from the records. However, calf mortality rates were not outside the realm of reported values. Gurdan and More (1999, 87-100) reported figures ranging from 1.4 to 2.8 % in the Philippines. In Parkistan, Khatun et al. (2009, 1535-1538) reported values ranging from 16.8 to 48.9 % for a government breeding farm and in India 81.1% for commercial dairy farms (Tiwari et al. 2007). Conclusion With normal skin and rectal temperatures, it was concluded that housing and environmental management at the Aripo Station kept the buffaloes thermostable. The high calving interval and calf mortality needs to be addressed by management. The buffalypso, is a valuable national genetic resource which has the potential to enhance the food and protein security in Trinidad and Tobago. References Abeygunawardena, H., D.H.A. Subasinghe, A.N.F. Perera, S.S.E. Ranawana, M.W.A.P. Jayatilake, and B.M.A.O. Perera. 1995. "Transfer of Technology in Smallholder Intensive Buffalo Farming: Results from a Pilot Study in Mahaweli system ,,H." The role of Buffalo in rural development publication 3: 67-94. Ahmed. I. A and K. El-Shazly. 1978. Early weaning of Buffaloes in Egypt. FAO animal production and Health Paper 12: 14-15.
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And the Loser is, 70 pages, 0.52 Mb
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