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J Anim Sci. 1988 Dec;66(12):3112-23.

The effect of tropical ambient temperature on growth and metabolism in pigs.

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Station de Recherches de Nutrition, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas, France.


Three experiments involving 34 individually fed pigs were conducted in Guadeloupe (16 degrees Lat. N., 61 degrees Long. W.) to determine the effects of environmental temperature (tropical, 22 to 32 degrees C, vs thermoneutral, 17 to 21 degrees C) and feeding method (restricted vs ad libitum) on performance, carcass characteristics and physiological and metabolic responses of pigs at three weight ranges (8 to 25, 29 to 50 and 54 to 79 kg live weight). Compared with the control environment, the tropical climate increased rectal temperature and respiratory rate but depressed growth rate and efficiency of feed utilization. In addition, in the heaviest weight group, feed intake was reduced and body fat increased. Changes in metabolic status, such as increased concentrations of plasma free fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol and adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase activity were observed in pigs housed in the tropical environment. Moreover, in these pigs, there was a decreased plasma concentration of thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine and thyroxine). These results indicate that tropical ambient temperature markedly affects the metabolism of pigs and, therefore, probably influences their nutritional requirements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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