Heat Stress Management in Dairy

Stress is an unfavourable condition that can arise as a result of physiological stressful conditions e.g disease, transportation,  high temperatures, reproduction, weaning etc.

However,  considering the effect of heat stress in animal husbandry results into huge loss of profit and affects the animals well being. It associated with high moralities, loss of milk production in dairy and body weight loss.

The consequences of climate change with respect to heat stress is becoming a growing issue for dairy production and it’s effects are:

it cost dairy or beef farmers huge sum of money due to milk production losses of 10 -30% ; Rumen specific live yeast and antioxidants can counteract the effects of this problem.

  • Fattening cattle are the very sensitive to heat stress resulting into increased acidosis risks which causes reduction of feed consumption thereby leading to poor growth performance;
  • High risk of carcass defaults and poor carcass quality;
  • Increased infertility and health problems: consistent heat stress can have negative impact on immune and productive system leading to oxidative stress in dairy cows which can cause mastitis, decreased fertility, increased embryo mortalilves’ live weight, mortality and health.
  Management
  • Make fresh and clean water available to the animals at all times;
  • Adjust the nutritional requirements and supplements:

– increase fat content of the animal’s diet so that fermentation will not take place in rumen which can result in heat release during digestion and further aggravate the heat stress;

– maintain mineral electrolytes balance to cushion the effect of excessive panting leads to losses of sodium and potassium;

  • Feed additives should be used into the ration: example is probiotic which optimise rumen function and maximized feed efficiency. It also help in stabilising the rumen pH and enhance digestibility in the rumen to alleviate the impact of the heat stress;
  • Use of Nutritional Supplements: researches has shown that antioxidant containing organic selenium will improve the milk quality,  enhance immunity and improved meat quality;
  • Well constructed shed that will provide enough protection from direct sunlight.

 

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