Effect of transportation on cortisol concentrations and on the circadian rhythm of cortisol in gilts.Am J Vet Res. 1985 Jul; 46(7):1457-9.AJ
A study was conducted to determine whether the circadian rhythm of cortisol in gilts is disrupted or altered by transport. Sixteen ovariectomized gilts with indwelling jugular catheters were individually penned in an enclosed building (location 1). Blood samples were collected at 0700 and 1900 hours for 6 days. On day 7, gilts in groups of 4 were transported 5.6 km to environmentally controlled chambers (25 C) and were individually penned (location 2). On the day of transport, samples were collected at 0700 hours at location 1, immediately before and after transport in a trailer, after unloading at location 2, and at 1900 hours at location 2. For the first 6 days at location 2, blood samples were collected daily at 0700 and 1900 hours. For the 6 days at location 1, circadian rhythm was evidenced by higher cortisol concentrations in the AM hours than in the PM hours. During transport, serum cortisol concentrations increased (P less than 0.01). Highest concentrations developed at 0.5 hour after unloading; concentrations declined thereafter. During the first 6 days at location 2, circadian rhythm was evidenced by higher serum cortisol concentrations in the AM hours than in the PM hours. Therefore, the transportation of gilts 5.6 km to new pens was a transient stress causing a temporary increase in serum cortisol concentrations, but did not cause a disruption in the endogenous rhythm of cortisol.