The effect of body fatness on energetic efficiency ...

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Title The effect of body fatness on energetic efficiency and fasting heat production in adult sheep
Author(s) Mary A. McNiven
Journal British Journal of Nutrition
Date 1984
Volume 51
Issue 2
Start page 297
End page 304
Abstract The effect of body fatness on the fasting heat production and energetic efficiency of adult sheep was studied. Energy balance and heat production were estimated in adult wether sheep at 3 fatness levels given a diet of grass hay and maize at 4 feeding levels, including fasting, in open-circuit respiration chambers. The sheep weighed about 60 kg at the start and were fed over a period of 4-7 months to obtain 1 of 3 levels of body fatness: fat 90 kg, medium 70 kg and thin 55 kg. Neither the digestibility nor the metabolizability of the diet was affected by body fatness or feeding level. Average daily fasting heat production was 6.47, 7.00 and 8.20 MJ for the thin, medium and fat sheep, respectively, but when expressed as a multiple of metabolic body size (kg W0.75) was constant at 0.31 MJ/kg W0.75. At each level of feeding the fat sheep produced most heat, but when heat production was expressed as a multiple of fasting heat production or metabolic body size, the differences due to level of fatness disappeared. Heat increment was not affected by fatness and there was no suggestion that energy utilization was improved by loss of condition. It is concluded that white adipose tissue is highly active and contributes significantly to the maintenance energy requirements of adult sheep..
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