Responses to heat stress
Production responses vary with the severity of heat stress and nutritional and management factors employed to abate heat stress. Typically, the following are evident when cows are subject to prolonged periods of heat stress:
- Feed intake decrease
- Lower milk production
- Loss of body condition
- Higher somatic cell count
Thermal Care R is a patent-pending technology that utilizes unique, specially selected, research-tested compounds proven to help cattle effectively cope with heat stress. Thermal Care R can be used as a top-dress or mixed in the ration of lactating dairy cows.Research
- In controlled thermal chamber trials, body temperatures were lowered 0.6°F in growing steers and 0.5°F in lactating Holstein cows fed Thermal Care R compared to controls (Figure 1). These reductions in body temperature help ensure animals spend less time near upper critical temperatures at which feed intake and performance will be severely compromised.
- Figure 3 shows the lactation performance of Holsteins in university trials and a Florida field study. On the average, under conditions of high heat stress, cows fed Thermal Care R consumed 2.2 lb more feed (dry matter basis) and produced 3.3 lb more milk compared to controls.
- In the University of Georgia study, Thermal Care R also tended to increase body weight gain when compared with control cows (1.1 vs 0.6 lb/hd/week).