Print version ISSN 0034-737X
OLIVEIRA, Pablo Teixeira Leal de et al. Physiological responses and performance of sheep on pasture supplemented with different protein sources. Rev. Ceres (Impr.) [online]. 2011, vol.58, n.2, pp. 185-192. ISSN 0034-737X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-737X2011000200009.
This study was carried out to evaluate the influence of climatic factors on performance and physiological responses of sheep fed on different protein supplements in grazing Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp.) irrigated in conditions of Brazilian semiarid climate. There were evaluated 28 male lambs, castrated, Santa Ines x SPRD (undefined breed), with initial weight of 28 kg, receiving three different sources of protein in the supplement (soybean meal, cotton cake and urea) and a treatment control, only on grass. It was evaluated the dry matter intake, average daily gain, physiological parameters - respiratory rate (FR), surface temperature (TS) and rectal temperature (TR) - and environmental parameters. Under the climatic conditions imposed by the experiment, the afternoon was led animals to a condition of high heat stress, regardless of diet. Supplementation affected roughage intake without affecting the performance of sheep being economically unfeasible. Protein source derived from cotton cake and used in the supplement for the lambs in grazing increased FR, influencing on their thermal comfort.
Keywords : Cynodon spp.; semiarid; stress; irrigated pasture; supplementation.