Effect of Protective Coats on Physiological Parameters of Angora Kids Exposed to Cold, Wet and Windy Conditions: An Advanced Study
Cutting-edge Research in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8,
3 May 2021,
Protective coats were tested on rectal, skin, and subcutaneous temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, shivering score, and serum glucose level in Angora goat kids exposed to cold, wet, and windy conditions. The experiment was carried out at the Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute on 24 ten-month-old castrated male Angora goat kids in 2009 and 30 nine-month-old castrated male Angora goat kids in 2010. Rectal temperature of animals in both the Coats and Control groups declined during both the 2009 and 2010 cold stress trial periods. Rectal temperature of the Coats group was 1.91°C higher (36.49 ± 0.45) than the Control group (34.58 ± 0.45) at the end of the trial in 2009. The Coats group animals had a significant 2.21°C lower drop in rectal temperature than the Control group. In 2010, a similar trend was observed, though the rectal temperature of the Coats group animals was only 0.87°C higher than that of the Control group.
Skin temperature differences were also found between the two groups. The most noticeable difference was between skin temperatures measured on the shoulder and britch; the area directly covered by the coats. During the early days of the 2010 trial, when the animals were freshly shorn, the animals protected by coats had significantly lower daily temperature amplitudes than the Control group animals. The differences in daily amplitude between the groups became less pronounced as hair length increased. There were no significant differences in subcutaneous temperatures between Coats and Control group animals after four weeks of hair growth. Animals in both the Coats and Control groups had an increased heart rate for the first two hours of the trial, then it decreased to below the initial values at the end. Serum glucose levels of animals in both groups showed a marked drop towards the end of the trial period to 1.33 ng/ml and 1.66 ng/ml in the Coats and Control groups respectively. The fact that both groups of animals shivered to the same degree at the end of the trial period and had a decrease in skin temperature on the extremities and periphery suggests that the coats were not completely capable of providing complete protection against cold, wet, and windy conditions to the point that all of the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms were triggered. When protective coats are tested on a larger scale in practise under natural cold and wet weather conditions, the true test of whether they offer adequate protection to freshly shorn Angora goats during extreme weather conditions will be conducted. The results of this study indicated that Angora kids wearing protective coats were able to maintain their rectal temperatures at higher levels than goats without protective coats during cold, wet and windy conditions.