Plasma insulin (INS), thyroxin (T4), glucose (GLU), non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), rectal temperature (RT) and eating behavior were evaluated in Japanese Shorthorn cattle under varying external environments and management techniques. Serial blood collection and assessments of RT and eating behavior were performed over 48h in the spring, summer, autumn and winter in four female cattle reared under either free-stall and ad libitum feeding (FA) conditions or tie-stall and restricted feeding (TR) conditions. Cycle patterns for each parameter were examined using spectral analysis, and correlations between parameters were investigated using cross-spectral analysis. Rhythms for all parameters, except eating behavior and T4, did not differ significantly among the varied external environments and between management techniques, although seasonal differences in the concentration or value of parameters were observed. An approximate 3- or 4-h rhythm cycle detected in T4, GLU, NEFA, BUN, and RT might be the common metabolic rhythm. Under both conditions, the metabolite levels showed strong correlations with eating behavior. Moreover, GLU positively correlated with INS at lag time of 0h, as did eating behavior and RT.
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