The key to managing your herd through heat stress is being ready for it. Watching the weather forecast to understand the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) is the first step in managing heat stress. The color-coded chart and tips list can help you keep your cows comfortable during summer heat.
It’s important to provide fresh, cool water (70-86 degrees F.) during times of heat stress so cows can drink enough to hydrate and cool their bodies. Ruminants can drink more than double the amount of water in the summer, compared to cooler months.
While you’re checking water tanks, take a look at the shade available in outdoor areas. It is recommended to provide 6-10 feet of shade per animal. When preparing for temperature humidity index 79 or higher, monitor the cows to determine if you are providing enough shade.
Reducing movement also is critical during high heat index events. Conduct any necessary vaccination, breeding or other processing during cool morning or late evening hours to reduce animal stress.
Download the QualiTech Heat Stress Mobile App at www.qualitechco.com/ANEVIS to receive heat index warnings and management tips to help you anticipate heat stress and make your cows more comfortable.
Heat stress in dairy cows — Trial results
During summer months, reduced milk production resulting from heat stress in lactating cows is a common problem for dairy producers. But a recent study by the University of Illinois found that ANEVIS rumen-protected niacin can help with dairy cow heat stress.
• Optimized milk production — 78.93 lbs for ANEVIS fed cows vs. 70.99 lbs for control cows (see chart)
• Milk fat concentration — 3.80% for ANEVIS fed cows vs. 3.48% for control cows
• Ability to maintain lower vaginal temperature during heat stress — 39.0°C with ANEVIS vs. 39.3°C for control cows.
Heat Stress Management Tips
• Provide fresh, cool water (70-86°F)
• Allow for 6-10 feet of shade per animal
• Reduce movement during high heat index
• Conduct key activities during cool morning or late evening hours to reduce animal stress.