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Technological solutions that minimize stress responses in cattle in feedlot

Grant number: 22/04489-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Ecology of Domestic Animals and Ethology
Principal Investigator:Cristiane Gonçalves Titto
Grantee:Kelly Kéffny Souza Duarte
Supervisor: Alfredo Manuel Franco Pereira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade de Évora, Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:21/07178-6 - Evaluation of the relationship of potential skin genes linked to thermotolerance in Santa Inês sheep, BP.IC


The production of beef cattle in the Mediterranean climate can run into problems related to heat stress, since very hot days are common in summers, with temperatures above 35°C. Also, when rearing intensively, the maintenance of male cattle in environments with restricted space lead to fights and decrease in performance and wellfare. The search for technological solutions is the way to improve well-being in addition to economic return. The objective of the present study will be to develop and implement technological solutions that, in a complementary way, will provide the reduction of the physical and psychological stress of the animals. Will be used 20 uncastrated male Mertolenga cattle kept in paddocks and in the area opposite the feeding corridor, a set of shading structures with a dimension of 8 m² per animal and 4 meters high. The monitoring of the thermal balance in the animals will be carried out using telemetric sensors (Star-Oddi), allowing the monitoring of the internal temperature with short intervals of time, every 10 minutes. A protocol for environmental enrichment in the paddocks will also be proposed, which enhances cognitive stimulation and exploration and which can thus reduce the frequency of agonistic behaviors with the use of chambers arranged at different points of the paddocks of the animals. Visible and subclinical trauma will be evaluated by thermographic camera. It is expected to find relevance in the use of solar panels as shading and reduction of psychological stress with the use of environmental enrichment. (AU)

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