Heat Stress

white and black cow on green grass field during daytime

With the temperatures in June many units have been seeing the impact that the heat can have on their production and that this is not limited to tropical areas. Any temperature above 25oC will need a cow to increase its heat dispersion and limit its heat production, causing an increase in maintenance energy needs by up to 20%. This is why there are numerous non visible signs of heat stress when the cow needs to divert energy from reproduction, yield, immune system, milk quality etc to keep cool instead. Cows can cope by increasing the amount that they drink, feeding when it is cooler, decreasing their movement or bunching, but these all have long term effects such as increase in lameness. There are a variety of strategies that we can use to abate heat stress, increase water availability, grazing at night/house in day, fans, decreasing stocking density, feeding in evening, misters, reduce handling, reduce flies. What changes are you going to make? Have a listen to this AHDB podcast for more points of discussion…https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ahdb-food-farming/id1190861561?i=1000617807683

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