Environmental source of stress in livestock productivity - a study of Minna climate data.
Stress emanating from environment is a factor limiting livestock productivity in the Tropics because of elevated temperature year round; hence this study took a look at Minna climate data for evaluation of Temperature-Humidity-Index (THI) as a way of identifying climate source of stress on livestock production. Climate Normals for Minna between years 1961 and 2018 were obtained, and the data were analyzed using general formulae for calculating Temperature-Humidity-Index for livestock production. Relationships between production parameters on commercial farms and the THI data indicated that heat stress is a potential cause of oxidative stress in the area. The THI showed that the environmental conditions in the study area has potential for heat stress on animals, and that it can aggravate oxidative stress in livestock under production in the study area, hence there is need for further studies to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of heat stress so as to develop mitigation strategies for improved animal performance and productivity. The study suggested that instead of the penchant for importing exotic breeds of livestock with the aim of upgrading the indigenous breeds, the way forward could be the utilization of genetic expression of heat and oxidative stress genes in animals as candidate markers for improvement of their productive potentials.