Feeding of dairy animals during heat stress.
Deputy Director ( Training)Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala, Punjab, 144620.
Profitable dairy farming depends on the cost of milk production. Usually, cost of feed andforages amounts to 60 to 70 per cent of total cost of production. It is obvious that the milk production can be made economical only when the supply of essential nutrients required for milk production are made available to the animal as cheap as possible, and the higher level of milk production are obtained from the dairy cow so that the cost of milk production could be kept low.As the temperature and humidity rise on dairy farms, it is common for cows to experienceheat stress. Thus, cow comfort is a key to attain maximum production.Whenever the temperaturerises above 75 degrees F and relative humidity is 85%, the cow will be under stress and their productivity is effected adversely.
Feeding and Management of cows during hot weather
It is widely accepted that heat stress has a major negative impact on the performance of lactating cows. This decline in performance usually occurs as the mean daily environmentaltemperature approaches 75 degrees F . In addition to ambient temperature, humidity and windvelocity also affect performance. It is common knowledge that animals lose body heat byradiation, conduction, convection and evaporation. An understanding of these principles oftenhelp dairy farmer to develop strategies to alleviate heat stress in animals.The heat loss by radiation depends on the temperature of the surfaces which radiatetoward each other and not the temperature of the air between them. For example, a cold barn becomes warmer when filled with animals or an animal may gain heat by standing in the sun.Heat loss by conduction happens when the animal is in direct contact with objects such as theearth or the food and water consumed by the animal. An animal standing in a cooling pond willlose heat to the water by conduction. Heat loss by convection is the transfer of warm air awayfrom the body by wind or forced ventilation. Evaporative cooling is the loss of heat from the body by sweating and panting. In recent years, dairy farmers have applied these principles andare using shades, sprinklers and fans to cool cows during the summer. It has been reported in the