Meaning of Environmental Physiology
Environmental physiology is the study of interrelationship between an organisms physical functioning and its environment. Environmental physiology refers to the effects of the environment on the growth and performance of farm animals. Too high or too low of any of the elements of weather causes negative effects on the wellbeing of the animals.
Effects of Changes in Climate on the growth of farm animals.
Effects of Extremely High Temperature on the Growth of Farm Animals
Extremely high temperature leads to the following:
i Panting of chicks and sometimes shouting
ii Reduction of feed intake in poultry
iii Increase in water intake.
Effects of Extremely Low Temperature on the Growth of Farm Animals
i Retarded growth or even death of monogastric animals
iiReduced feed conversion efficiency
iii Mortality of birds increases through huddling and suffocation
Effects of High Relative Humidity on the Growth of Farm Animals
High Relative humidity causes the following:
Reduces feed intake of farm animals
ii Causes mouldiness of feed In poultry leading to low feed intake and retarded growth.
Effect of High Intensity of Radiation on the Growth of Farm Animals
High Intensity of radiation affects the food intake of farm animals.
Effects of High Rainfall on the growth of Farm Animals.
High rainfall causes the following
I Reduces growth
Ii May even lead to death
Iii There is high multiplication of insects such as tsetseflies which transmit trypanosomiasis.
Effect of Wind on the growth of Farm Animals
Wind causes the following
i It aids the spread of diseases e.g tuberculosis
ii The growth of animals is retarded
Iii May even leads to death.
Effects of Changes in Climate on Reproduction
Reproduction in animals are affected when there is sharp changes in climatic conditions in environment where animals are reared. The following can be noticed:
Effects of Changes in Climate on Egg Production
The production of eggs by poultry birds is also affected by changes in the prevailing climatic conditions of an area. The following changes could be observed :
Egg Production is lowered at high temperature
Eggs storage period is reduced at high temperature
Hatchability of eggs is reduced at high temperature.
Birds tend to drink more water at high temperature which also affect eggs production
Egg production is reduced at high humidity
Birds egg-laying reduces when they are kept in the dark most of the time
Effects of Changes in Climate on Milk Production
Milk production can either increase or decrease in animals like cow ,ewe , or doe as a result of changes in environmental conditions. The following changes could be noticed.
Milk production reduces at high heat condition.
Dairy animals are affected at high temperature or high rainfall
Milk production is affected as pathogens growth increases due to high relative humidity in the environment.
Tsetse fly growth is favored by high rainfall, thus increases transmission of trypanosomiasis which reduces milk production in farm animals.