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10.1007_s00484-007-0136-1

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Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 DOI 10.

1007/s00484-007-0136-1

ORIGINAL PAPER

Environmental factors affecting feed intake of steers in different housing systems in the summer
H. Koknaroglu & Z. Otles & T. Mader & M. P. Hoffman

Received: 28 May 2007 / Revised: 14 November 2007 / Accepted: 15 November 2007 / Published online: 18 December 2007 # ISB 2007

Abstract A total of 188 yearling steers of predominantly Angus and Hereford breeds, with mean body weight of 299 kg, were used in this study, which started on 8 April and finished on 3 October, to assess the effects of environmental factors on feed intake of steers in various housing systems. Housing consisted of outside lots with access to overhead shelter, outside lots with no overhead shelter and a cold confinement building. Ad libitum corn, 2.27 kg of 35% dry matter whole plant sorghum silage and 0.68 kg of a 61% protein-vitamin-mineral supplement was offered. Feed that was not consumed was measured to determine feed intake. The temperature data were recorded by hygro-thermographs. Hourly temperatures and humidity were used to develop weather variables. Regression analysis was used and weather variables were regressed on dry matter intake (DMI). When addition of a new variable did not improve R2 more than one unit, then the number of variables in the model was truncated. Cattle in confinement had lower DMI than those in open lots and

those in open lots with access to an overhead shelter (P < 0.05). Cattle in outside lots with access to overhead shelter had similar DMI compared to those in open lots (P =0.065). Effect of heat was predominantly displayed in August in the three housing systems. In terms of explaining variation in DMI, in outside lots with access to overhead shelter, average and daytime temperatures were important factors, whereas in open lots, nocturnal, peak and average temperatures were important factors. In confinement buildings, the previous day’s temperature and humidity index were the most important factors explaining variation in DMI. Results show the effect of housing and weather variables on DMI in summer and when considering these results, cattle producers wishing to improve cattle feedlot performance should consider housing conditions providing less stress or more comfort. Keywords Housing . Dry matter intake . Heat stress . Temperature . Humidity

Introduction
H. Koknaroglu (*) Department of Animal Science, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey e-mail: hayati@ziraat.sdu.edu.tr Z. Otles Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation, Madison, WI, USA T. Mader Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA M. P. Hoffman Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

As a rule of thermodynamics the performance of cattle depends on how much energy they consume and how much energy they spend for maintenance. Cattle as homeotherm animals live in a dynamic environment and interact with it (Hahn 1999). The environment surrounding cattle often dictates their maintenance energy requirement and their feed intake (Delfino and Mathison 1991). Thus, controlling the factors affecting dry matter intake and energy expenditure of cattle is an important means to improve the performance and efficiency of the cattle production. One way to control the effect of environment on cattle is to provide housing to minimize stress (Mitlöhner et al. 2002).

All steers were individually ear-tagged and. were placed in the fence line between each pair of outside lots. It was accessible through large sliding doors at each end which could be left open during hot weather for ventilation purposes. the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of environmental variables on feed intake of cattle fed in open lots. Steers were offered on a daily basis ad libitum corn. the cattle were stratified by weight and color pattern and assigned to each of three types of housing facilities.12 m deep. The semi-enclosed (open-front) confinement building was 24.7 m apart. Muhamad et al. actual DMI was adjusted by applying the NRC formula by using intermittent weights. the yearling steers. The average of these two weights was used as the starting weight (mean BW=299 kg). concrete was provided around the waterers. 2005).64 m2 per steer and was located north of the three outside lots. and open lots with access to overhead shelter. Average daily gain was determined as final or intermediate weight minus initial weight divided by the number of days in the feedlot or during the period. slots over a multiflume floor or slots over a shallow pit.13 m2 per steeer. There was a 3. Actual feed intake was calculated as feed provided minus feed not consumed.59 m of linear feeding space per steer. predominantly Angus and Hereford.1 m2 per steer. Because dry matter intake (DMI) increases with increasing body weight. Steers were weighed at 28-day intervals. Entrance to it was through doors located on its south side. three outside lots with no overhead shelter and a semi-enclosed (open-front) cold confinement building containing four lots. DMI was corrected for confounding effect of body weight. feed samples sampled every 3 days were oven dried and dry matter content was determined.25 kg in DMI for every 100 kg increase in initial weight (NRC 1996). leaving only the south side open.68 kg of a 61% protein-vitamin-mineral supplement.05 m at the north eave.19 m wide and was built of a wood framework covered with ribbed aluminum siding over a 3. Housing used in this study consisted of three outside lots with access to overhead shelter. thus a total of 188 steers were used for the experiment The outside lots were 30.81-m-wide alley running along the north side. Automatic waterers. kg =d ¼ 4:54þ 0:0125 Â IBW states that there is an increase of 1. confinement and open lots with access to an overhead shelter.5 m long × 10. Feed bunks were located in the north edge of the pens. Space allocations and type of flooring were different for the three housing systems. Confinement building provided approximately 4.8cm layer of styrofoam with vapor barrier. Overhead shelter consisted of a large barn with the hayloft floor removed to allow for air circulation. However. It provided 4. At the beginning of the study. Three sides of the building were enclosed. they were similar to what is generally recommended and practical for cattle housing systems in the Midwest. Automatic waterers were located near the open side of the building. and was conducted at the Allee Experimental Farm located in the center of the northwest quarter of the state of Iowa. Thus. after drying in the oven. Concrete fenceline feed bunks were located between the pens and the feed alley. with individual metered bowls. The floor surface was either a sloping solid concrete floor with flush flumes. 1977. were individually identified and weighed over two consecutive days. and other high-traffic areas. Two of the four pens in confinement had concrete slats and two had aluminum slats over an oxidation ditch 1. The single slope of the roof at the south eave was 5. In all instances. Thus. oriented in a north-south axis with a surface gradient of 4% slope to the south and providing approximately 18. The formula DMI . However. Adjusted dry matter intake was calculated as DMIadjusted ¼ DMIactual À ð0:0125 Â ðactual body weight À initial weight ÞÞ based on 28-day weights. Koknaroglu et al. Feeds that were not consumed by steers (ort) were removed from bunks and.49 m and it was 3. they were not considered to have a direct influence on the results of this study (Pusillo et al. There has been very limited research carried out on defining the causes of difference in performance among different housing systems. The fencing on three sides of each lot consisted of five 0. .95-cm stranded cables on wooden posts approximately spaced 2.38 m long × 12. In order to determine dry matter of feed samples. Consequently. after initial weighing. Open lots and open lots with access to an overhead shelter treatments had 18 steers per pen and confinement treatment had 20 steers per pen. Wooden feed bunks were located in the fence line along the driveway and provided 0. Depending on the floor design.7 m wide. Approximately 28 cm of feedbunk space was provided per steer. 1991). 1983. feed bunks.420 Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 Several researchers comparing the different housing systems reported that providing overhead shelter in open lots has resulted in better performance and efficiency than open lots (Leu et al. the same researchers also found that cattle housed in confinement had a poorer performance than cattle fed in open lots.27 kg of 35% dry matter whole plant sorghum silage and 0. manure materials were either continuously or periodically flushed into a lagoon. they were weighed to determine actual daily feed intake. 2. Materials and methods Management and feeding The study was initiated on 18 April and was finished on 3 October.

where temp00 is the temperature reading at midnight. Temperature Humidity IndexðTHI Þ ¼ Average temp À ½0:55À ð0:55 à RH =100ފ à ðAverage temp À 58:8Þ. Regression analysis was used to determine important variables affecting DMI and for this purpose weather variables such as hourly temperature readings and other variables were regressed on DMI. we have corresponding temperatures to estimate es for each shelter. the hygro-thermograph was located approximately 1. In the confinement building. Peak temperature ¼ ðtemp14 þ temp16Þ=2. In order to test for cattle performance.55°C). Average temperature ¼ ðtemp00 þ temp02 þ ::::::::: þ temp22Þ=12. Nocturnal temperature ¼ ðtemp22 þ temp00 þ temp02 þ temp04 þ temp06Þ=5. Relative humidity calculation RH calculated for each housing was determined using Sioux City daily RH values. After all of the squared terms were added. We have found the temperatures which are used in the RH calculations in the following manner. June. Hygro-thermographs were mounted in a white painted box with louvered sides. Daytime temperature ¼ ðtemp08 þ temp10 þ temp12 þ temp14 þ temp16 þ temp18 þ temp20Þ=7. the data were analyzed using the General Linear Model procedure of SAS (1999) by including housing in the model and PDIFF statement was used to compare housing means for dependent variables. then respectively the daily RH values. Using those times. data were analyzed for the months of May. The chart had increments of 2 h which allowed 12 temperature readings.8 m above ground level. temp02 is the temperature reading at 0200 hours of that day and others are respective readings. Statistical analysis Since the data in April and October were not enough to conduct statistical analysis. the previous day’s temperature was the average temperature of the previous day.Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 421 Temperature and relative humidity readings The temperature data were recorded by hygro-thermographs. variables below were developed. The environment saturation vapor (ea) pressure was calculated using Clasius Clapeyron Equation and RH from Sioux City. RH is ratio between ea/ es when expressed as a percentage. With the same approach. July. The reason for this was to insure that no direct radiation would fall upon the instrument and also to allow enough air flow across the instrument to minimize trapping of hot or cold air. When addition of a new variable did not improve R2 more than 1 unit then the number of variables in the model was truncated. each squared estimate The es (Ta) and ea are saturation and actual vapor pressure of air. standard estimates from regression analysis were obtained and then squared. where RH is the relative humidity as percentage. For a given day. Regressions were applied separately for each month and for each housing system. the hygro-thermograph was located over the pens about 3 m above the floor. In order to find partial R2. the previous day’s temperature humidity index (THI) for the given day was the THI of previous day. maximum temperature and minimum temperature values. The hygrothermograph in the open lot was located along the fence line of the lot about 1. The estimated es from the shelter temperature readings along with the environment air pressures from Sioux City were used to estimate the RH values for each shelter type. The es (Pa) calculated (Stull 1988)   17:67 à ðT À 273:16Þ es ¼ 611:2 exp T À 29:66 where Ta(K) is air temperature. This provided for a continuous ink tracing of temperature for a 7-day period. Maximum and . In the sheltered area. RH ¼ 100 ea es minimum temperatures from Sioux city have lead us to find the corresponding times at open shelter. The hygro-thermograph had an 8-day clock which powered a cylindrical drum around which a 7-day calibrated chart was mounted. In order to examine effect of temperature and relative humidity readings taken at different times. which were accurate to approximately 1°F (0.2 m above the ground. August and September. respectively.

Hahn 1995).08 kg/day.67a 158 7. (1977). 1). whereas in open lot August was hottest and May was lowest month (Table 2).18a 1.14ab Shelter 299±0. those for radiation were next.6°C for maximum ambient temperature and mean ambient temperature. Thus. Probably. whereas temperature at 2000 hours coincided with a decrease in temperature (Fig.065). 1c). followed by vapor pressure and air movement. and research showed that depressive effect of ambient temperature is displayed when it exceeds 25°C (Morrison 1983.21b 1. 1. (1987) reported a lasting effect of Variables Initial weight (kg) Final weight (kg) Days on feed Daily DMI (kg/day) Average daily gain (kg/day) Feed efficiency (kg feed/kg gain) Open lot 299±0. Hahn et al. Temperature at 1000 hours coincided with the abrupt increase in temperature. although the adaptation period might have played a role in this.08 495±5.05). In general. 1992. was divided into months and the effects of environmental variables in different months and different housings were examined. Table 1 DMI and performance of steers (±SE) throughout the experiment in different housings The exact reason for this is not known. One observation with these cattle was that temperature at 1000.422 Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 was divided by the sum of the squared terms and thus the relative contribution of each parameter to each R2 was found. Muhamad et al. cattle might have left the overhead shelter and gone to the open lot where ambient temperature was lower. Since purpose of the study was to examine the effect of environmental factors on daily DMI.08 517±5. In the first month of the study (May). the lowest temperature was observed at 0600 hours in three housings and temperature started increasing until 1600 hours when it started decreasing. dry matter intake of cattle in open lot with access to an overhead shelter was 7.12b ab Means with different superscripts are significantly different (P <0.69±0. Lefcourt and Adams (1996) found that the threshold for increase in daily maximum body temperatures was 25. 1a). A behavior study of cattle in Iowa conducted at the same experimental station by Hoffman and Self (1973) showed that in summer cattle preferred lying under shelter between 0900 hours and 1800 hours and preferred lying outside between 1800 hours and 0900 hours. similar findings were reported by Leu et al. thus making 1600 hours the hottest hour of the day (Fig.05) . Table 3).84% of the total variation.59 kg/day (Table 3) and was affected by daytime temperature which constituted 65.21a 1.67b 158 7. (2005) found that the current day’s response was related to the previous day’s.24±0. who found that cattle fed in confinement consumed significantly less daily dry matter than those in open lots or open lots with access to overhead shelter In these studies.17±0. Using radiotelemetry measurement of body temperatures of feedlot steers.14a Confinement 299±0.07 479±4. It seems that cattle during this period did not feel any heat stress because temperature exceeding 25°C was only at 1600 hours.03b 5. Effects of heat stress on performance are mainly a result of a decrease in DMI. Thus. which started at the end of April and finished at the beginning of October.96±0.13±0. 1400 and 2000 hours contributed to the explanation of total variation. at 2000 hours. (2005). cattle in open lots or open lots with access to overhead shelter had similar daily DMI.91b 158 6. (1983) and Koknaroglu et al. In terms of DMI in different housings. the acclimation and the temperature variability could explain these results. (1991) reported that correlations of ambient temperature with body temperatures and respiratory rates were highest.38±0. Other important variables affecting DMI in June were the previous day’s THI and the previous day’s temperature (Table 3). Brown-Brandl et al.04a 5. Average temperature and daytime temperatures were the two most important variables explaining variation (65.37±0. respectively. Cattle in confinement had lower DMI than those in open lots and those in open lots with access to an overhead shelter (P <0. only DMI will be examined in this section.04b 5. The purpose of this study was to investigate and identify effect of environmental variables in different housings on daily DMI of cattle.33%) in June. Cattle in open lots with access to an overhead shelter had similar DMI compared to those in open lots (P =0.6 and 20. Hahn et al. Temperature readings showed that in shelter and confinement July was the hottest and May was the coolest month. the feeding period.80±0. Dry matter intake of cattle in open lot with access to overhead shelter was highest in June (8.38 ± 0. Even though previous studies reported differences in terms of DMI in different housings they did not investigate why this difference occurred. Temperature variations in different housings are presented in Fig. Results and discussion Performance variables of steers are given in Table 1. The effect of outside temperature clearly illustrates this because in the open lot abrupt temperature increase starts after 0800 hours and the temperature starts decreasing after 1800 hours (Fig. Legates et al.

27 kg/day. DMI of cattle in open lot with access to an overhead shelter decreased compared to DMI in July (7. vapor pressure. In July. Shrode et al. open lot (b) and confinement (c) 30 25 Temperature. Experiments showed that ambient temperature is the major atmospheric influence on body temperatures and respiratory rate under most hot conditions in the southeast- ern US. THI was lower than 74 and there were no temperature readings exceeding 25°C. Daytime temperature was the most effective variable affecting DMI. It should be noted that DMI of these cattle decreased in this month compared to DMI in June. with solar radiation. and air movement generally following in order of importance (Seath and Miller 1946. C o b 20 15 10 5 0 0 2 May 30 25 4 6 June 8 10 July 12 14 August 16 18 20 22 Hours September c Temperature. Additional to this variable. though higher nocturnal temperature in the open lot might have affected heat dissipation from the cattle. 1960). Table 3). the previous day’s temperature and peevious day’s THI. 2004). In August. and there is little or no lag associated with it. and temperature at 1800 and 2200 hours also contributed to explaining variation in DMI. July was the hottest month of the year for cattle in open lot with access to overhead shelter. though results show that respiration rate is the most appropriate indicator of thermal stress to monitor because it is consistently affected in all THI categories. This result would be expected because THI exceeded 75 and this might have had an effect on DMI. 1 Temperature variations for months in shelter (a). C o 423 a 20 15 10 5 0 0 2 May 4 6 June 8 10 12 14 August 16 18 20 22 Hours July September 30 25 Temprature.85 vs 7. average temperature was the sole contributor to the explanation of variation followed by daytime temperature and both contributing 95% of the variation.Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 Fig. We did not measure respiration rate. Body temperature is determined by heat input from metabolic heat production . The exact reason for lower DMI in this month is not known. C o 20 15 10 5 0 0 2 May 4 6 June 8 10 12 14 August 16 18 20 22 Hours July September temperature and found that current responses were affected by temperatures for up to 60 h preceding. Weather conditions for these cattle in this month were not as severe as in July. (Brown-Brandl et al.

20 21.96±10. 1600.25 16.32±3.94 70.78±3.12 62.39 75.65 24.24±3.55 19.30 18.33 16. 0800.05 74.49±6.68 24.65±3.81±7.13±7.51±12.20±9.03 75.50 22.23 23.92 21.18±4.18±3.68 17.46±7.71±5.04 kg/day.63±4.95±3.84±2.12±7.70 62.69 55. body temperature of the animal would not return to normal levels resulting in a higher peak the following day (Brown-Brandl et al.08±9.99 53.04 62.65±13. If an animal does not get enough cooling during nighttime hours.20±4.17±5.97±5.96 22. Temperature at 1800 hours in the overhead shelter corresponds with the highest temperature in August.53±4.424 Table 2 Weather variables (±SD) for housings by months Housings Months May Shelter Average temperature (°C) Nocturnal temperature (°C) THI Previous day’s THI RH (%) Daytime temperature (°C) Peak temperature (°C) Previous day’s average temperature (°C) Open lot Average temperature (°C) Nocturnal temperature (°C) THI Previous day’s THI RH (%) Daytime temperature (°C) Peak temperature (°C) Previous day’s average temperature (°C) Confinement Average temperature (°C) Nocturnal temperature (°C) THI Previous day’s THI RH (%) Daytime temperature (°C) Peak temperature (°C) Previous day’s average temperature (°C) June July Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 August September 16.46±7.10 74.35 16.96 15.45 18. 0000.53 21.76±5. The reason for this temperature to affect DMI could be the heat load imposed on the cattle.04 21.37±4.57 21.39±6.62 15. cattle appear to acclimatize within 2–7 weeks.87 72.13 19. Daytime temperature and current day THI had .72±5.41±10.73 23.65±7.52±10.59 74.91±4. 1000.37 49.18 50.93±5. it is the average temperature of the previous day Daytime temperature Average values of temperatures measured at 0800.66 74.70±4.07 20.17±4.70 17.16±11.12 21.62 21.76±11.17 14.32±3. Another observation is that temperature at 2200 hours contributed to explanation of variation.77±3.35±5.39 61.17±10.14±3.73±7.56±3.31±3.96±4.42±4.18±3.95 21.15 60.56 20.01 21. Thus.57 13.99 19.66±4.68 20.34 23.67 49.22 73. the effect of higher temperature at 1800 hours might have been displayed at 2200 hours.01±12.11 20.32 16.36 73.38 18.16±2.47±4.25 21.56 74.07±3. 1400.06 16.68 20.88±4.16 25. 0400. 0600.82±13.58 14.04±3.71 24.09 61. heat is stored.54 70.99 19.00 19.32±5.76±3. Cool nighttime temperatures help animals dissipate heat gained during the day (Bianca 1961.71 22. Lowest dry matter intake of cattle in open lot with access to an overhead shelter occurred in September (6.39±7. thus causing an increase in body temperature (Brosh et al.84±5.78±4.85±2.15 19. 1998).17 17.33±14.11 59.80±11.70 54.47±7.23±13.61±17.13±3.33±3.81 71.30±5.51±9.19±6.72 21.39±7.62 61. Another reason for cattle in August to have lower DMI could be acclimation of cattle. Data-dependent system time series analyses of tympanic temperature records indicated the effect of ambient conditions of previous 2–4 h on current tympanic temperature (Parkhurst and Hahn 1987).46±4.51±7.24 71.75±7. 1200. 1800 and 2000 hours Peak temperature Average values of temperatures measured at 1400 and 1600 hours Previous day’s average temperature For a given day.38±9.95±10.67 73.83±4.25 20.72±4. where RH is the relative humidity as percentage Previous day’s THI For a given day.38±5.02±5.03 56.03 63.99 62. this is the average temperature of the previous day and solar radiation and by heat output through evaporative and nonevaporative avenues. Table 3).43 61.32±3. The exact reason for this is not known because it seems that there is no factor that would cause heat stress on cattle.51 20.21 16.67 15.99 25. Blackshaw and Blackshaw (1994) reported that.91±9.59±3.32±4.18 Average temperature Aaverage values of temperatures measured at 0000.37±4.63 59.94 16.80±12. following exposure to heat.85±10.91±4.21 21.53±15.57 24.43±4.07 20.26 60.55±11.89±4.48±11. The reason for this could be the lag between ambient temperature and body temperature.32±5.12 23.26±3.42 24.27 14.13 18. When heat loss does not attain heat gain.87 12.62 73.24±9.71±3.21±10.31±2. Kabuga 1992).06 22. 1200. 0200.37±3.09±7.05 16.77±4.69±4.61±9. 1000.89±2.80 19.50 56. 1400. 0400 and 0600 hours THI Temperature humidity index: Average temp À ½0:55 À ð0:55 à RH =100ފ à ðAverage temp À 58:8Þ.55 70. 1600.10±9.36 21. 1800.89±3.98 17. 2000 and 2200 hours.02±13.97 18.20 24.33 74.12 18.67±3. 2005).78±4.24±3.77 56.62 54.39 13.60±12.92±4.39 61.29±11. Nocturnal temperature Aaverage values of temperatures measured at 2200.32 26.42±11.10 56.95±3. 0200.00 16.56±3.15 26.80 61.34 61.

Peak and average temperatures also explained some variation (Table 4). it could be seen that average temperature and daytime temperature are most important factors explaining variation in DMI.01 0.16 7. a decrease in DMI of . 1400.02 0.32 6. (1966) suggested that relatively high daytime temperatures had no effect on performance of cattle when temperature at night was low. thus their combined effect clearly shows the effect of heat dissipation on cattle performance.77 4.67 13.14 41.80 1.85±0. Dry matter intake of cattle in open lot was 7.36 1.94 5.34 8.67 7. Compared to DMI in July.00 0.53 7. and temperature at 1600 hours is part of peak temperature. although that temperature at midnight is a part of nocturnal temperature.90 3.08±0.59±0. Peak and average temperatures for June were close to the threshold temperatures that causes increase in body temperature reported by Lefcourt and Adams (1996). Considering the highest temperature occurred at 1600 hours. 1200. Among single temperature readings. (1991).12 3. 2200.55 1. The second biggest contributor was temperature at midnight.08 28. Brody et al. 1000 and 2000 hours were important ones contributing to total R2. nocturnal temperature had the highest effect on DMI variation (Table 4).80 0.65 kg/day. Nocturnal temperature also had an effect on DMI and this shows the effect of heat dissipation on thermoregulation of cattle.91 43. Average temperature and peak temperature were the two most important factors explaining the variation in DMI (Table 4). temperatures at 1800.80 0.14 5. The general trend seen in June is also observed in July except average temperature did not affect DMI (Table 4).40 5.47 0. Sudden temperature increase in the shelter started at 1000 hours and the highest temperature was attained at 1600 hours.04±1.49 58.36 68.03 22.07 0.58 88.12 Average temperature (°C) Nocturnal temperature (°C) THI Previous day’s THI RH (%) Daytime temperature (°C) Peak temperature (°C) Previous day’s average temperature (°C) DMI (kg/day) R2 See Table 2 for explanation of weather variables 4.54 6.37 0. DMI of cattle in open lot in June increased a little (7.94 considerable contributions to total R2. 0200.58 7.71 6.84 7. (1955) reported that even though daily maximum temperatures exceeds 40°C for a few hours each day. who reported that the highest correlation of body temperature and respiratory rates was with ambient temperature.69 13.00 15.25 0.11 4. Experiments by Givens et al.06 1. These results are in agreement with Legates et al.13 June July August 425 September 0. partial R2 of each variable for shelter housing by months and DMI by months Shelter May Times of temperature readings (hours) 0000 0200 0400 0600 0800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 1. Compared to May.37 8.26 4.36 9.33 2. In June. Table 4).88 1. When the general trend among months was considered for cattle in open lot with access to an overhead shelter.61 0.33 0. In July.57 64. their combined effect shows that peak temperature is the most important factor affecting variation in DMI of cattle in open lot in May. cool nights that help stored heat to be radiated to the surroundings allows dairy cattle to produce at near optimal levels.46 3.90 9.71 0.47 kg/day in May (Table 4). a prolonging effect of temperature on body temperature might have played a role in this. Thus.05 4.62 62. Other important factors were temperature at 1600 hours and nocturnal temperature.58 0.Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 Table 3 Important variables affecting DMI.03 16. combining the effect of temperature at 0200 and 0400 hours with nocturnal temperature and temperature at 1400 hours with peak temperature leads us to conclude that nocturnal temperature and peak temperature are the most important factors affecting DMI of cattle in open lot.27±0.

previous day’s temperature.62 47.26 kg/day (Table 5).94 5. The previous day’s temperature might have an effect on the current day’s DMI because nocturnal temperature in August was the highest of all months and the ability of cattle to dissipate heat during the night where temperature is coolest might have had an effect on the next day’s performance.426 Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 Table 4 Important variables affecting DMI. results show that nocturnal temperature and peak temperature are the two important variables affecting DMI of cattle in open lot. Peak temperature.63 Average temperature (°C) Nocturnal temperature (°C) THI Previous day’s THI RH (%) Daytime temperature (°C) Peak temperature (°C) Previous day’s average temperature (°C) DMI (kg/day) R2 See Table 2 for explanation of weather variables 42.53 0. temperature readings comprising nocturnal temperature were important factors explaining variation in DMI (Table 4).31 8. daytime and nocturnal temperatures were important variables explaining variation in DMI.71 vs 6.86 4. This shows the importance of temperature and humidity along with nocturnal temperature on cattle in confinement.64 17. partial R2 of each variable for open housing by months and DMI by months Open lot May Times of temperature readings (hours) 0000 0200 0400 0600 0800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 1.16 0. The reason for the previous day’s temperature and THI to affect cattle could be the confinement absorbing heat during the day and .29 3.08 14. but a lasting effect of heat stress could be the reason (Blackshaw and Blackshaw 1994).65±0.79 9.59 cattle in open lot in August was observed (7. 1971.49 7.32 7. The exact reason for this is not known.99 9. Wiersma and Stott 1974.32 4. Other variables were current day’s THI and temperature at 1400 hours.12 4. These values coincided with the fashionable increase in ambient temperature (Fig.38 kg/day.12 0. This would be expected because average temperature exceeded 20. previous day’s THI.57 0.62 0.07 4.62 71. This shows the heat load cattle face in open lot due to solar radiation and the effectiveness of nocturnal temperature to dissipate heat to bring body temperature back to normal range.86 3.45 September 15.91±1. Daytime time temperature and previous day’s temperature also had an effect on DMI.41 24. Important variables explaining variation in DMI in order of importance were average temperature.13 0.52 7.05 16. An interesting observation with DMI of cattle in open lot in August is that the contribution of hourly temperature started at 0800 hours and in an increasing fashion it lasted until 1400 hours (Table 4).32 July August 2.47 71. these variables comprised near 93% of total R2 (Table 5). THI of current day and nocturnal temperature. Cattle in confinement in May had DMI of 7. Combined together. Table 4).99 kg/ day.82 2. daytime temperature and THI were lower than the level that would cause stress in cattle. When considering all months.29 5.91 kg/day. Table 4).55 0.23 5. Research showed that lower nighttime temperatures can help cattle tolerate higher ambient temperatures during the day (Mendel et al.58 June 11.05 0.59 7.32 0.48 1.97 13. previous day’s THI.47±0. 1b).391 5.25 0. DMI of confinement cattle in June increased a little (7. current day’s THI.18 0. 1983). Table 5). Previous day’s temperature.25 6. Among variables affecting DMI in open lot.99±1.28 45.6°C which is reported as the threshold temperature for maximum body temperature (Lefcourt and Adams 1996).71±0.33 75. Scott et al.34 6.71 10.70 0.88 0.85 40. Dry matter intake of cattle in open lot was lowest in September (5.35 1.32 5.03 1.63 0.18 2.

Daytime temperature.26 9. The environment to which cattle in open lots were exposed was different from that of the open lots with access to an overhead shelter and from the environment of the cattle in confinement.89 1.22 6.00 0.71 0. the previous day’s THI in August had more effect in explaining variation in DMI.40 7.03 1.49 0. 1c) and. Previous day’s temperature and previous day’s THI were the two most important variables explaining variation in DMI and their partial contribution to total R2 was higher than that in June (Table 5). Current day’s THI and peak temperature were other important variables.96 0. the decrease in DMI in August could be the extended effect of heat stress on cattle (Blackshaw and Blackshaw 1994). partial R2 of each variable for confinement housing by months and DMI by months Confinement May Time of temperature readings (hours) 0000 0200 0400 0600 0800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 June July August 427 September 1.19 1. When considering all months.27 2. Compared to July. Body temperature is determined by heat input from metabolic heat production and solar . Table 5).01 22.03 1. There was a drastic decrease in DMI of cattle in confinement in August (6.64 0.88 16.45 3.19 53.33 11.62 1.85 28.44 7. This shows the adaptability of cattle when stress factors are imposed on them. cattle in confinement had lowest DMI in September (5.36 6.097±1. it did not affect cattle DMI.13 14.27±0.53 68.68 5.58 14.51 7.Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 Table 5 Important variables affecting DMI.07 25.6°C and peak temperature approached the threshold temperature for stress (25°C) and THI exceeded 74 Even though these values were higher than in June. Previous day’s THI and previous day’s temperature were the two most important variables explaining variation in DMI (Table 5). average temperature exceeded 20.80 72. Among all months. the decrease in DMI in confinement cattle was more pronounced.35 55.38±0.26±0. The exact reason for this is not known because temperature and THI that would cause stress in cattle is not apparent.09 kg/day. Compared to the DMI in July. Even though temperature and THI in August was lower than those in July.84 1.16 5.38 kg/day. However. This observation is not peculiar to cattle in confinement because cattle in open lot and cattle in open lot with access to an overhead shelter also had lower DMI in August. it was more than 1 kg (1.89 16.23 28.01 0. In July.17 3.26 0. Table 5). combined with nocturnal temperature.27 21. Temperature at 0600 hours corresponded to the lowest temperature of the day (Fig. this shows the effect of heat dissipation at night. Other important variables were nocturnal temperature and temperature at 0600 hours. results show that previous day’s THI and previous day’s temperature along with current day’s THI are important variables affecting DMI of cattle in confinement.55 1.11 kg/day).98 1.99 1.05 8.34 18.44 0.11 10. When comparing cattle performance in different housings.32 72. previous day’s temperature and previous day’s THI were important variables explaining variation in DMI (Table 5). Dry matter intake of cattle in confinement in July was similar to that in June (7.92 7.60 8.20 1. the environment the cattle are exposed to should be considered. This shows the ineffectiveness of confinement dissipating heat gained during the day and the carry-over effect of this heat load being displayed in next day’s cattle performance.55 15.33 2.36±0.16 5.89 Average temperature (°C) Nocturnal temperature (°C) THI Previous day’s THI RH (%) Daytime temperature (°C) Peak temperature (°C) Previous day’s average temperature (°C) DMI (kg/day) R2 See Table 2 for explanation of weather variables radiating heat during the night. and thus interfering with dissipation of heat by the cattle during night.27 kg/day).

By providing shade. Kelly CF.428 Int J Biometeorol (2008) 52:419–429 radiation and by heat output through evaporative and nonevaporative avenues. Regulatory mechanisms responsible for body heat dissipation are chiefly adjustments in behavior. Results of the study could be used by producers or extension services to give advice to farmers. Valtorta et al. feed and water consumption and body weight of Jersey and . At high temperatures. (1994) and Whittow (1962) showed that in cattle skin temperature exposed to solar radiation was higher than that of the non-exposed side. McLean and Calvert (1972) found that heat loss by evaporation amounted to 18% of the total heat loss at 15°C and to 84% at 35°C. These results show the effectiveness of humidity on evaporative cooling at high temperatures. Thus. and evaporative heat loss (Griffin 2001). This proves that providing a shelter is beneficial to the producers. in blood circulation. Cattle in open lots with access to an overhead shelter and in open lots were able to dissipate the heat stored during the day at night and were thus able to alleviate the effect of heat stress. respiratory evaporation and skin evaporation decreased as humidity increased at 35°C. heat load of cattle could be reduced by more than 30% (Bond et al. At upper thermal-critical temperature. Thus. the previous day’s THI and temperatures were important variables affecting DMI of confinement cattle. They found that 80 min after changing to the shade. thus causing an increase in body temperature (Brosh et al. and heat loss by respiratory evaporation amounted to 54% of the total evaporative heat loss at 15°C and to 38% at 35°C. Yeck RG. Even though cattle were fed for the same duration and started on feed at the same weight. It is influenced by humidity and wind speed and by physiological factors such as respiration rate. and since they preferred lying outside during nighttime hours when the temperature was lower they were able to dissipate the heat they produced during the day. cattle in confinement were affected by the previous day’s conditions as the building stores the heat during the day and dissipates it during the night and the next day. When Coleman et al. 1970. evaporative cooling is the principal mechanism for heat dissipation in cattle. Trans Am Soc Agric Eng 10:622–627 Brody S. Pereira N (1967) Solar. Shade changes the radiation balance of an animal but does not affect air temperature or humidity (Hahn et al. However. Esmay 1982). providing shade to decrease thermal radiation in hot weather would be a means to help cattle maintain body temperature (Blackshaw and Blackshaw 1994. cattle in open lots with access to an overhead shelter were 38 kg heavier than those in confinement. animals were kept in shade. Intl J Biometeorol 5:5–26 Blackshaw JK. thus causing a decrease in heat dissipation and relieving stress. Blackshaw AW (1994) Heat stress in cattle and the effect of shade on production and behaviour: a review. Morrison SR. (1994) reported that solar radiation as measured by black globe temperature contributed substantially more to the heat load of animals than did dry bulb temperature. (1997) reported that black globe temperature was higher in nonshaded pens compared to shaded pens.75 and 454 g/ h of water as maximum respiratory evaporation and maximum skin evaporation. and afternoon temperatures were reduced by nearly 7°C directly under the shade netting. 1998). and by not being able to leave the confinement which stored the heat and dissipated heat at night. readings remained relatively stable as distances under the shade netting increased and shade reduced temperatures both inside the hutches and in the outer exercise areas during both years. Buffington et al. Ragsdale AC. 1997). Conclusions Research showed that performance of cattle is affected by the housing provided. respectively. Aust J Exp Agric 34:285–295 Bond TE. (1996) measured black globe temperature above and below shade netting they found that morning readings were reduced by more than 3°C. Worstell D (1955) Milk production. and density and activity of sweat glands (Blackshaw and Blackshaw 1994). while relative humidity and airflow are closely interrelated to maximal evaporation (Griffin 2001). heat is stored. They also found that heat loss by evaporation. References Bianca W (1961) Heat tolerance in cattle. in the following 2 h. Cattle in open lot with access to an overhead shelter had higher DMI because they did not get exposure to the sun and thus were not exposed to the heat load by solar radiation. and rectal temperature and respiration rates were higher in non-shaded pens. and there was no effect of solar radiation on the rate of heat production or heart rate of the heifers. Alentejana breed heifers’ body temperature completely recovered the initial body temperature whereas Limousine breed heifers did not completely recover their initial temperature. 1967). atmospheric. Mader et al. Yamamoto et al. When heat loss does not attain heat gain. The effect of shade was demonstrated in another experiment by Pereira et al. Yamamoto et al. 1981. (2001) where they kept two breeds of heifers under direct solar radiation between 1200 and 1400 hours and. Cattle in confinement had lower DMI than other cattle due to the effect of humidity as displayed by THI. Research was conducted by examining months separately and showed that in different months in different housings different variables affected feed intake. a 454-kg animal can have 141. and terrestrial radiation received by shaded and unshaded animals.

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