Effect of Simulated Heat Stress on Digestibility, Methane Emission and Metabolic Adaptability in Crossbred Cattle

  • Yadav, Brijesh (Division of Physiology and Climatology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Singh, Gyanendra (Division of Physiology and Climatology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Wankar, Alok (Division of Physiology and Climatology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Dutta, N. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Chaturvedi, V.B. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Verma, Med Ram (Division of Statistics, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Received : 2015.08.24
  • Accepted : 2016.01.05
  • Published : 2016.11.01


The present experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of simulated heat stress on digestibility and methane ($CH_4$) emission. Four non-lactating crossbred cattle were exposed to $25^{\circ}C$, $30^{\circ}C$, $35^{\circ}C$, and $40^{\circ}C$ temperature with a relative humidity of 40% to 50% in a climatic chamber from 10:00 hours to 15:00 hours every day for 27 days. The physiological responses were recorded at 15:00 hours every day. The blood samples were collected at 15:00 hours on 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th, and 21st days and serum was collected for biochemical analysis. After 21 days, fecal and feed samples were collected continuously for six days for the estimation of digestibility. In the last 48 hours gas samples were collected continuously to estimate $CH_4$ emission. Heat stress in experimental animals at $35^{\circ}C$ and $40^{\circ}C$ was evident from an alteration (p<0.05) in rectal temperature, respiratory rate, pulse rate, water intake and serum thyroxin levels. The serum lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase activity and protein, urea, creatinine and triglyceride concentration changed (p<0.05), and body weight of the animals decreased (p<0.05) after temperature exposure at $40^{\circ}C$. The dry matter intake (DMI) was lower (p<0.05) at $40^{\circ}C$ exposure. The dry matter and neutral detergent fibre digestibilities were higher (p<0.05) at $35^{\circ}C$ compared to $25^{\circ}C$ and $30^{\circ}C$ exposure whereas, organic matter (OM) and acid detergent fibre digestibilities were higher (p<0.05) at $35^{\circ}C$ than $40^{\circ}C$ thermal exposure. The $CH_4$ emission/kg DMI and organic matter intake (OMI) declined (p<0.05) with increase in exposure temperature and reached its lowest levels at $40^{\circ}C$. It can be concluded from the present study that the digestibility and $CH_4$ emission were affected by intensity of heat stress. Further studies are necessary with respect to ruminal microbial changes to justify the variation in the digestibility and $CH_4$ emission during differential heat stress.


Thermal Stress;Nutrient Utilization;Gas Emission;Adaptability;Cattle


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