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The relationship between heart rate and energy expenditure in Alpine, Angora, Boer and Spanish goat wethers goats consuming different quality diets at level of intake near maintenance or fasting

R. Puchala, I. Tovar-Luna, A. L. Goetsch, T. Sahlu, G. E. Carstens, and H. C. Freetly

Small Ruminant Research. 2006. In Review

Six Alpine (AL; 38.4 ± 3.0 kg), Angora (AN; 23.1 ± 2.7 kg), Boer (BO; 40.8 ± 4.5 kg) and Spanish (SP; 33.6 ± 2.2 kg) wethers (1.5 yr of age) were used to determine effects of time of the day and potential interactions between time, genotype and diet quality on energy expenditure (EE), heart rate (HR) and EE:HR when fed near maintenance and fasting. The experiment consisted of four simultaneous crossovers, with 21 d for adaptation before measures. Diets were 60% concentrate (CON: 15% CP) and ground alfalfa hay (FOR: 23% CP), offered in two meals at 8:00 and 16:00 h. Energy expenditure was determined from O2 consumption and production of CO2 and CH4 over 2-day periods in fed and fasting states (total 4-day fasting period). Fasting EE was higher during the day than night, with values generally highest at 1600-1700 h. Animal within breed affected EE, HR and EE:HR (P < 0.05). The diurnal pattern in EE varied with diet (P < 0.05), although total daily EE was not different between diets. Before the morning meal, there were a number of hours during which EE was greater for CON than for FOR. However, at both meals the rise in EE was considerably greater for FOR vs CON, lasting for 3-4 h. The same general pattern in HR was observed, although the period of time when there was a dietary difference after the afternoon meal was shorter. For both fed and fasted goats, EE:HR differed among hours of the day (P < 0.05). EE:HR tended (P < 0.09) to differ between diets (5.99 and 6.21 for CON and FOR, respectively) and to be affected (P < 0.09) by an interaction between breed and diet (AL: 5.84 and 6.38; AN: 5.91 and 5.73; BO: 6.05 and 6.58; and SP: 6.17 and 6.15 kJ/(kg BW0.75 × day):heart beats/min) for CON and FOR, respectively. In conclusion, for use of HR to predict EE by goats, it appears desirable to determine the ratio of EE:HR with a diet similar to that consumed during prediction and over an extended period of time.


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