Preparation is the key to managing heat stress

Published on: 03/02/2019
Author/s : Jack Garrett, Director of Research and Technical Support, Animal Nutrition, QualiTech.

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 c...

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March 2, 2019

Worth reading and worth repeating to read before every summer season as it looks Bible to rescue your animals from heat stress.

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Israel Flamenbaum Israel Flamenbaum
PhD (Animal Science)
April 9, 2019

Unfortunately, the most important thing was not mentioned, and it is intensive cooling for sufficient hours per day. Water availability, shade and preventing of cows movement will not liberate the high yielding cow from the high quantities of endogenous heat generates and so, will not prevent summr drops in performance. Only proper cooling can reach this goal!

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Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano Ossensi
Degree in Animal sciences
April 9, 2019

Israel Flamenbaum it's true, I agree with you. I began to work with intensive cooling 4 years ago and the results are very good, 3-4 litres more milk and 3% more pregnancy rate compared with the previous year where the cooling system was present but not properly used. I increased the fat (by-pass) to improve the energy supply to meet the requirements (during heat stress there is vaso-contriction in the intestine, less absorption surface).

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Israel Flamenbaum Israel Flamenbaum
PhD (Animal Science)
April 10, 2019
Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano, I would like to know what kind of cooling your cows received
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Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano Ossensi
Degree in Animal sciences
April 10, 2019
Israel Flamenbaum sprinklers on the feeding line (1 hour in the headlock per session) 1 minutes every 5 minutes water and the fans always working (air 3 m/second), 6/7 session per day. And fans on the top of the cubicles.
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Israel Flamenbaum Israel Flamenbaum
PhD (Animal Science)
April 10, 2019

Cristiano Ossensi Sounds good, congratulations
I would call it "cooling in the Israeli style"!

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April 10, 2019
Israel Flamenbaum The easy answer to that is no cooling - just good common sense when it comes to barn design and animal husbandry.
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Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano Ossensi
Degree in Animal sciences
April 10, 2019

Israel Flamenbaum it is... thanks a lot!

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Ehsan Ehsan
Animal Nutritionist
April 12, 2019
Cristiano Ossensi could you please give more information about it? At what height the sprinklers have been located? Did you mean you lock cows at feed bunk every day for 1 h?
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Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano Ossensi
Degree in Animal sciences
April 16, 2019

The sprinklers are located at around 2,00 meters from the floor (enough tall that the cows can't damage), the cows stay 1hour every session, so 6 hours per day! Every four hours (four hours is the time after cooling needed for the body temperature to rise again to the critical level)

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Ehsan Ehsan
Animal Nutritionist
May 4, 2019
Cristiano Ossensi sorry for not getting back to your answer sooner. I did not understand if you lock the cows at feed bunk every session?
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Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano Ossensi
Degree in Animal sciences
May 4, 2019
Ehsan ... yes... I lock the cows... I call it "active standing" because during the cooling sessions the cow is standing but lose body temperature and eat TMR... the two best options during heat stress.
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Ehsan Ehsan
Animal Nutritionist
May 4, 2019
Cristiano Ossensi Thanks for your prompt reply. How do you compel cows to come at feed bunk all together?
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Cristiano Ossensi Cristiano Ossensi
Degree in Animal sciences
May 4, 2019
Ehsan when the session is finished the cows normally go to the bunks to rest and start rumination (not all... some cows keep eating)... after four hours an operator put the cows in the feeding line again. Have a great day!
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Ehsan Ehsan
Animal Nutritionist
May 4, 2019
Cristiano Ossensi Thank you so very much... Have a great weekend..
Reply
April 9, 2019
It's recommended as an idea temperature for lactating cows is around 25°C however it is achieved. Barn housed cows must have the right ventilation and a high roof and at the correct degree of +/- 13%. Slurry removal is critical to keep methane gas to a minimum and the barn must have plenty of fresh clean water. In South Africa we have experienced some 10 to 12% increase in milk production.
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Israel Flamenbaum Israel Flamenbaum
PhD (Animal Science)
April 10, 2019

Richard Stephens Dear Richard, sorry to say, but your words show that you don't really know what is a cow in heat stress! Of course, the best is to produce in an environment where temperature is below 25 C. But what to do, most of us experience 4-6 months a year when temperatures are above this threshold, sometimes 24 hours a day! In this case, barn design, clean water and even forced ventilation alone, can't maintain cows in normothermia, and prevent drops in performance. I am "only" 45 years in the cow cooling business (including M.Ss and PhD in this topic and, when it comes to high production cows (in Israel average 12,800 KG/305 d), only intensive cooling, combining wetting and forced ventilation for at least 6 cumulative hours per day, can solve the problem. more about that in my web site - www.cool-cows.com

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shimon carmi shimon carmi
zootechnoligy inginer
April 12, 2019

My friend Dr. Flamenbum is correct and even 6 hours of forced cooling is only alleviating the stress, it does not solve the entire problem of heat stress. Furthermore, as cows produce more milk per day they create more stress as rumen fermentation is the heat source of this issue.

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