Well-being on dairy farms (X): Heat stress (4): Methods to reduce it (1)
Technical article published in number 252 of the magazine Frisona Española
The negative repercussion of CS on the productivity and health of the affected cows justifies all the actions that are undertaken in anticipation of it, which leads us to consider the strategies that the farmer should deploy in this regard without more changes in the management of the farm than the patient observation of cows and physical modification of the environment around them on the farm itself.
The first of the strategies involves careful, slow and meticulous observation of the cows, in order to detect in them the full range of adaptive responses to the rise in temperature and which lead one to think that they are on the verge of a situation of EC. We are referring to the physiological and ethological modifications aimed at intensifying the elimination of body heat, accompanied by those other metabolic modifications that, despite being involved in an already declared CD situation, can appear in the immediately preceding moments.
These modifications and responses of the animal have already been analyzed in the previous number (Spanish Friesian 251).
The negative effects of heat are increased when:
• The animals do not have fresh water freely available.
• They do not have shaded areas in the exercise yards and yards waiting for milking.
• The movement of cattle through the facilities is great.
• Waiting times for milking are long.
• The facilities are poorly designed, with poor natural ventilation.
This already gives us an idea of what measures should be taken to avoid CS.
The measures to be adopted to reduce heat stress are quite simple from a theoretical point of view, although the cost of their implementation will have to be considered:
1. Decrease heat gains.
a. Reducing the transmission of heat from the environment to the animal.
b. Reduce metabolic heat production.
2. Increase heat losses, increasing its transmission from the cow to the environment. In this first part, we will talk about the measures to reduce the transmission of heat from the environment to the animal, as well as other complementary measures to reduce heat stress. In successive installments we will address the rest of the mentioned strategies.
If you want to read the full article, you can download it from this link or also from “Documents”.
Technical article published by Antonio Callejo Ramos in the number 252 of the magazine Frisona Espaola.
All the articles this animal welfare series:
– Well-being in dairy cattle farms (I): Concept of well-being
– Well-being on dairy cattle farms (II): stress
– Well-being on dairy cattle farms (III): Well-being assessment (1)
– Well-being on dairy cattle farms (IV): Well-being assessment (2)
– Well-being on dairy cattle farms (V): Well-being assessment (3)
– Well-being on dairy cattle farms (VI): Well-being assessment (and 4)
– Well-being on dairy farms (VII): Heat stress (1)
– Well-being on dairy farms (VIII): Heat stress (2): Evaluation
– Well-being on dairy farms (IX): Heat stress (3): Symptoms and consequences
– Well-being on dairy farms (X): Heat stress (4): Methods to reduce it (1)
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