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Effect of temperature on thermal acclimation in growing pigs estimated using a nonlinear function

Abstract : Ninety-six Large White growing barrows were used to determine the effect of temperature on thermoregulatory responses during acclimation to increased ambient temperature. Pigs were exposed to 24°C for 10 d and thereafter to a constant temperature of 24, 28, 32, or 36°C for 20 d. The study was conducted in a climate-controlled room at the INRA experimental facilities in Guadeloupe, French West Indies. Relative humidity was kept constant at 80% throughout the experimental period. Rectal temperature, cutaneous temperature, and respiratory rate were measured [breaths per minute (bpm)] 3 times daily (0700, 1200, and 1800 h) every 2 or 3 d during the experiment. The thermal circulation index (TCI) was determined from rectal, cutaneous, and ambient temperature measurements. Changes in rectal temperature, respiratory rate, TCI, and ADFI over the duration of exposure to hot temperatures were modeled using nonlinear responses curves. Within 1 h of exposure to increased temperature, rectal temperature and respiratory rate increased by 0.46°C/d and +29.3 bpm/d, respectively, and ADFI and TCI decreased linearly by 44.7 g∙d−2∙kg−0.60 and 1.32°C/d, respectively until a first breakpoint time (td1). This point marked the end of the short-term heat acclimation phase and the beginning of the long-term heat acclimation period. The td1 value for ADFI was greater at 28°C than at 32 and 36°C (2.33 vs. 0.31 and 0.26 d, respectively, P < 0.05), whereas td1 for the TCI increase was greater at 36°C than at 28 and 32°C (1.02 vs. 0.78 and 0.67 d, respectively; P < 0.05). For rectal temperature and respiratory rate responses, td1 was not influenced by temperature (P > 0.05) and averaged 1.1 and 0.89 d, respectively. For respiratory rate and rectal temperature, the long-term heat acclimation period was divided in 2 phases, with a rapid decline for both variables followed by a slight decrease (P < 0.05). These 2 phases were separated by a second threshold day (td2). For rectal temperature, td2 increased significantly with temperature (1.60 vs. 5.16 d from 28 to 36°C; P < 0.05). After td2, the decline in rectal temperature during the exposure to thermal challenge was not influenced by temperature, suggesting that the magnitude of heat stress would affect thermoregulatory responses only at the beginning of the long-term heat acclimation period. The inclusion of random effects in the nonlinear model showed that whatever the temperature considered, interindividual variability of thermoregulatory responses would exist.
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David Renaudeau, Caroline Anais, Luber Tel, Jean-Luc Gourdine. Effect of temperature on thermal acclimation in growing pigs estimated using a nonlinear function. Journal of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science, 2010, 88 (11), pp.3715-3724. ⟨10.2527/jas.2009-2169⟩. ⟨hal-02659980⟩

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