How to reduce heat stress in dairy cattle
During summers, when temperatures are high, cows reduce their feed intake and use more energy to cool themselves. This dual effect of temperature is called heat stress. It drastically reduces milk output. However, you can adopt some nutritional and farm management practices to mitigate the effects of heat stress on your farm.
Since the cows are energy deficient due to combined effect of low intake and cooling requirements, you need to raise the energy levels in their diet. You can do that by incorporating Purina® Energy Booster in the rations. Additionally, Purina® Dairy Cooler Pack has proprietary “internal cooling elements” which help the cow keep cool and reduce the energy expenditure.
In the harsh temperatures of Indian summers, the importance of farm management in managing heat stress cannot be stressed more. You must ensure that you have the below facilities in your farm:
- Fans: Fans circulate the air and help in removing heat from the cows
- Sprinklers: Sprinklers should be run for 2-3 minutes at a time to completely soak the cows. They should then be turned off to allow for evaporative cooling. Running the sprinklers continuously raises humidity does not permit evaporation, thus giving little cooling effect.
- Adequate supply of drinking water: Cows will consume more water in summers. Your farm needs to be ready to meet the increased water requirement.
Summers are a challenging time for dairy farmers. But, with the right nutrition and farm management you can minimize the loss of milk production.