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A comparison of two heart rate monitoring systems for goats

R. Puchala, I. Tovar Luna, A. L. Goetsch, T. Sahlu, and J. Luo

E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK

Heart rate (HR) holds promise as an indirect means of estimating energy expenditure by ruminants. Therefore, two monitoring systems were compared with different goat breeds, diets, and levels of intake. The CP-402 stationary biosignal preamplifier method (BA) of Sable Systems (Henderson, NV) was compared with the human S610 monitor (HM) of Polar (Woodbury, NY). Electrode signals for BA were adjusted and filtered, with less dependence on signal quality relative to HM, whereas measurement with HM was more frequent (1- vs 10.5-min intervals). Heart rate was measured over 48-h periods while goats consumed alfalfa hay or a high concentrate diet for BW maintenance and on d 3 and 4 of fasting. Six Spanish (36 1.3 kg), 7/8 Boer (39 4.4 kg), Angora (23 4.0 kg), and Alpine (41 6.3 kg) wethers, > 1.5 yr of age, were employed. Stick-on ECG electrodes, used for both methods, were attached to the chest just behind and slightly below the left elbow and at the base of the jugular groove on the right side of the neck. Overall HR means were similar between methods (50.5 11.75 and 50.1 11.81 for BA and HM, respectively). Intercepts and slopes of equations for regressions of mean observations with BA against those with HM were similar among breeds and between diets and levels of intake. Therefore, all observations for BA were regressed against those for HM: BA HR = 1.784 (SE = 1.626) + 0.972 (SE = 0.032) x HM HR (SE = 0.032) (n = 48; R2 = 0.954). Because the intercept was not different from zero, a final no-intercept regression was fitted: BA HR = 1.005 (SE = 0.007) x HM HR (n = 48; R2 = 0.998), with the slope not different from one. In conclusion, BA and HM appear equally effective for measuring HR of goats in confinement, but the small size and light weight of HM may be appropriate for use in grazing goats.


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