Print version ISSN 0044-5967
MORAES JUNIOR, Raimundo José et al. Environmental comfort of buffalo calves (Bubalus bubalis Linnaeus, 1758) on silvopastoral systems in the Eastern Amazon. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2010, vol.40, n.4, pp. 629-640. ISSN 0044-5967. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0044-59672010000400001.
This aim of the study was evaluating effects of two different silvopastoral systems on environmental comfort and changes in physiological parameters of buffalo calves bred in the Eastern Amazon. The experiment was conducted at Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Belém-PA, (Afi climate type) in two periods of the year: Period 1 (April to Sep/2007) and Period 2 (Oct/2007 to March/2008). Eleven calves were included in the Silvopastoral System 1 (SSP1), with a useful shaded pasture area of 18 to 21%; and eight calves were included in the Silvopastoral System 2 (SSP2), without shading, but with a lake for swimming. Physiological status of animals bred in the two SSP's were measured (rectal temperature-RT; respiratory frequency-RF and skin temperature-ST). The Temperature and Humidity Index (THI) and Benezra´s Animal Comfort Index (ACI) were calculated, in two phases of the year, and were compared by the Tukey test (P < 0.05). THI ranged from 73.5 ± 1.3 to 82.2 ± 0.8. RT was 38.3 ± 0.26 to 39.3 ± 0.38 °C, but within the normal range for buffalo. RF ranged from 32.2 ± 9.2 to 56.5 ± 19.0 mov min-1, above the levels considered normal, and ST ranged from 23.6 ± 8.3 and 31.7 ± 5.4 °C. In both periods of the year and the two SSP's, ACIs were considered higher than ideal, ranging from 2.46 ± 0.33 to 3.31 ± 0.62 (SSP1) and 2.42 ± 0.30 to 3.45 ± 0.66 (SSP2).
Keywords : ambience; animal production; animal welfare; farming system.