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Etude de l'adaptation de la race Tarentaise aux conditions du stress thermique en Tunisie

Abstract : In Tunisia, the Tarentaise cow, a dual-purpose rustic breed was imported from the northern region of the French Alps. The aim of this PhD work was to study the adaptation of Tarentaise breed to heat stress, in particular during summer climatic conditions of Tunisia.To achieve our goals, two different studies were conducted. The first study was carried out to quantify the effect of heat stress on milk yield and components of Tarentaise in comparison to Holstein cows (by means of a data base of 16,400 monthly individual records of production traits from 21 farms situated in the North of Tunisia), and then to describe the relationship between the variations of milk yield during summer and some characteristics of the barns (by means of a survey carried out on 19 of the 21 previous farms). When the temperature-humidity index (THI) increased from an average value of 53.7 in winter to 75.4 in summer, the Holstein and Tarentaise cows decreased their milk yield by 0.93 and 0.15 kg/d, respectively. Milk fat, protein, and urea contents decreased similarly in both breeds, while somatic cell count increased for Holstein (+352,000/mL) and decreased for Tarentaise cows (−160,000/mL). The survey showed that closed buildings amplified the impact of heat stress and led to a more pronounced decrease in milk yield between summer and winter than open buildings (−1.13 vs. −0.27 kg/d), as well as metallic roofs compared to the other roof types (−1.04 vs. −0.15 kg/d).The second study was implemented in a commercial farm to quantify the effects of summer heat stress on some physiological parameters of Tarentaise cows. At the same time, we studied changes in milk production when we provided to the cows a more balanced diet during heat stress conditions. As expected, when the THI increased on average from 52.9 during winter to 77.4 during summer, cows had higher respiratory rate, heart rate, rectal temperature, and milk cortisol content. Nevertheless, the range of variation was lower compared to Holstein cows from other studies. However, in our trial, the blood leucocytes count was not modified during summer. Simultaneously, during summer, the cows maintained their dry matter intake, were still in positive energy balance and increased their milk yield by 7.1 kg/d compared to winter, in response to a more concentrated energy and protein diet.Our results suggest that Tarentaise cows are well adapted to the Mediterranean climate of Tunisia. In addition, it is possible to alleviate the negative effects of heat stress with a more balanced diet during summer and a better design of barns for an adequate microenvironment.
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Rahma Bellagi. Etude de l'adaptation de la race Tarentaise aux conditions du stress thermique en Tunisie. Agronomie. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017CLFAC026⟩. ⟨tel-01781295⟩

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