Effect of Protective Coats on Physiological Parameters of Angora Kids Exposed to Cold, Wet and Windy Conditions: An Advanced Study

In Angora goat kids exposed to cold, wet, and windy conditions, protective coats were tested on rectal, skin, and subcutaneous temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, shivering score, and serum glucose level. In 2009, the experiment was conducted on 24 ten-month-old castrated male Angora goat kids and 30 nine-month-old castrated male Angora goat kids at the Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute. During the 2009 and 2010 cold stress trials, the rectal temperature of animals in both the Coats and Control groups decreased. At the end of the trial in 2009, the Coats group’s rectal temperature was 1.91°C higher (36.49 0.45) than the Control group’s (34.58 0.45). The animals in the Coats group had a 2.21°C lower rectal temperature drop than the Control group. In 2010, a similar pattern was found, but the Coats group animals’ rectal temperature was only 0.87°C higher than the Control group’s.

There were also variations in skin temperature between the two classes. The most noticeable difference between skin temperatures measured on the shoulder and britch; the area directly covered by the coats; was measured on the shoulder and britch. The animals covered by coats had slightly lower daily temperature amplitudes than the Control group animals during the early days of the 2010 study, when the animals were freshly shorn. As hair length increased, the variations in regular amplitude between the groups became less pronounced. After four weeks of hair development, there were no major variations in subcutaneous temperatures between Coats and Control group animals. For the first two hours of the experiment, animals in both the Coats and Control groups had a higher heart rate, which then dropped to below the initial values at the end. The Coats and Control groups’ serum glucose levels dropped significantly towards the end of the trial period, to 1.33 ng/ml and 1.66 ng/ml, respectively. The fact that both groups of animals shivered to the same extent and had a drop in skin temperature on the extremities and periphery at the end of the trial period indicates that the coats were not fully capable of providing total protection against cold, wet, and windy conditions to the point that all of the body’s thermoregulatory mechanisms were activated. The true test of whether protective coats provide sufficient protection to freshly shorn Angora goats during severe weather conditions will be performed when they are tested on a larger scale in practise under natural cold and wet weather conditions. Angora kids wearing protective coats were able to sustain higher rectal temperatures than goats without protective coats during cold, wet, and windy conditions, according to the findings of this report.

Author (s) Details

M. A. Snyman
Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, Private Bag X529, Middelburg (EC), 5900, South Africa.

M. van Heerden
Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, Private Bag X529, Middelburg (EC), 5900, South Africa.

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