What Do Cattle Prefer in a Tropical Climate: Water Immersion or Artificial Shade?


Animal performance is affected by high air temperature and it is known that shade reduces the absorption of radiant temperature, and water for immersion facilitates heat loss. This study intends to find preferences of resources that contribute for the well-being of cattle and how they alterdaily behaviour. During summer, six Caracu and six Red Angus bulls were submitted to two different treatments: availability of artificial shade and water for immersion and availability of water for immersion. The categories observed were: positions (in the sun, under the shade, in the water), posture (standing, lying down) and activities (grazing, ruminating, leisure). The behavioural patterns were recorded using the focal sampling method every 15 minutes (from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). When shade and water for immersion coexists, cattle in this study prefer shade to avoid solar radiation. Both breeds had remained more time grazing, followed by ruminating in the Caracu breed, and by resting in the Red Angus breed. The Caracu breed had presented clear preference for the shade resource, but that fact was not always observed in the Red Angus breed. In hot climates, resources for defence against heat load, as shade and water for immersion improve the well-being of cattle

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Repositório Científico da Universidade de Évora

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