Help Cows Rise to the Challenge of Increased Temperatures

Help Cows Rise to the Challenge of Increased Temperatures

The severity of a heat stress challenge depends on the heat abatement practices on a particular farm. Good heat abatement strategies such as shade, soakers, misters and fans in the freestalls and holding areas are vital to managing heat stress, and so preventing acidosis on dairy farms.

The consequences of not providing good environmental heat abatement strategies for dry, transition and lactating dairy cows are well-documented and include:

  • Lower dry matter intake (DMI)
  • Loss of body condition
  • Higher incidence of abortions
  • Lower calf birthweight
  • Increased incidence of metabolic disorders
  • Lower average daily milk yield (by at least 5 pounds per cow daily)
  • Lower milk component yield
  • Decreased pregnancy rates

There are very strong financial incentives to invest in the necessary heat abatement strategies to ensure optimal cow comfort and well-being and to maintain productivity. Other best practices include always providing clean, fresh, palatable water and ensuring adequate linear trough space access, and focus on ensuring highly digestible forages.

To read the full article on our to set your cows up for success during high temperatures, click here.

Tags: Management Tips; Heat Stress