Livestock Bioclimatology and Ecology

Topics: Milk, Cattle, Heat Pages: 11 (1345 words) Published: April 25, 2014
KLS G609: LIVESTOCK BIOCLIMATOLOGY AND
ETHOLOGY
• Livestock adaptation to environmental effects of heat,
humidity, light, pressure and latitude. Biological
rhythms and photo-periodism.
• Effects of environment on Livestock reproduction,
nutrition, and health.
• Livestock ethology and physiological basis of Livestock
behaviour, behaviour patterns including social
behaviour and management of behaviour.
• Livestock welfare and requirements in housing,
transportation and slaughter, management practices to
achieving desirable welfare standards, impact of
welfare on marketing and consumers.

References
• Philip N. Lehner, 1998. Handbook of Ethological
Methods. Cambridge University Press. Pp 694.
• J. R. Krebs and N. B. Davies 1993. An Introduction to
Behavioural Ecology. Blackwell Publishers. Pp 432.
• R. J. Collier and J. L. Collier (Eds) 2012. Environmental Physiology of Livestock. Wiley-Blackwell. Pp 368.
• C. C. Webster and P. N. Wilson (Eds) 1998. Agriculture
in the Tropics, 3 edition. Wiley-Blackwell. Pp 552
• Others will be posted later

Why study livestock bioclimatology?
• Because ability of livestock to breed, grow,
and lactate to their maximal genetic potential,
and their capacity to survive and keep healthy
is influenced by biological and climatic factors
and their interaction with the environment.

Definitions:
• Livestock usually refers to cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, rabbits, camels, donkeys and horses. This may vary nationally and regionally. For public good there are natural laws and statutes that regulate the obligations of livestock owners.

• Bioclimatology derived from two words, bio which stands for biology and climatology which stands for climate.
• Bio is derived from biology which is the study of living matter. • So Bioclimatology is the study of the effects of climatic conditions on living organisms.
• Lately is also referred as Biometeorology which is more inclusive because it is the study of how atmospheric factors interact with living matter that is plants, animals and man.

Livestock Population
Species

Kenya (million)Kenya Census 2009

World (billion)

Dairy cattle

3.4

1.3

Beef cattle

14.1

Hair sheep

16.3

Wool sheep

0.85

Goats

27.7

Dairy goats

0.08

Camels

3.0

0.19

Donkeys

1.8

0.04

Pigs

0.33

0.96

Poultry backyard

25.8

10.0

Poultry commercial

6.1

Rabbits

0.47

1.0

0.77

What is climate?
• A region with particular weather patterns or conditions
• Usual weather conditions in a particular place or region • Usual or most widespread mood or conditions in a place
• The average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation
• The prevailing set of weather conditions
• What is the difference between the weather and climate?
• The difference between the weather and climate is a measure of time.

Adaptation
• Adaptation literally means adjustments that
are possible in practices or processes in order
to adjust to change. In livestock it refers to
genetic and /or physiological changes taking
place in an animal in response to internal and
external stimuli e.g. acclimatization.

What is an environment?
• Environment is totality of circumstances
surrounding an organism or group of
organisms, in our case livestock.
• Name different environments of livestock
• 1.
• 2.
• 3.

How do livestock respond to temperature
change?
• Livestock are homeothermal, they attempt to
maintain their body temperature within a range
that is biologically optimal, that is, Thermal
Neutral Zone (TNZ). They are also homeostatic
that is in a state of equilibrium internally, while
externally could be indifferent.

• How livestock adapt to temperature (heat)


Transmission of heat: Conduction
• Conduction is analogous to diffusion,
it is microscopic exchange of...


References: • Philip N. Lehner, 1998. Handbook of Ethological
Methods
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