Managing Heat Stress in Dairy Cows

It is important to recognize signs of heat stress in dairy cows as early as possible

Production parameters may already change before any clinical signs of heat stress in dairy cows become visible. It usually takes 24-48 hours before heat stress in dairy cows results in a drop of milk production. Milk composition in heat stress cows changes at an earlier stage and may thus be a better indicator for early diagnosis of heat stress in cattle66.


Managing heat stress in dairy cows requires a holistic approach

Heat stress in cattle can be reduced by using fans to cool the animals, with or without cooling the air by adding water. An alternative method to reduce heat stress in cows is wetting the cows with sprinklers. Heat stress in dairy cows increases water consumption by 1.2 kg/day per 1°C rise in environmental temperature, therefore, ample water points should be available across the enclosures or pasture to ensure heat stress cows can drink when they want to.

Cooling the drinking water to 10 °C can reduce signs of stress in cows. Provide shade to all the heat stress cows and optimise the quality of the flooring, to reduce the risk of lameness when heat stress dairy cows are standing for longer periods of time. In case of heat stress in cattle, consider timing of feeding and provide fresh feed during the cooler periods of the day. Reformulat of the diet of heat stress cows in favor of glucogenic energy and ensure cooling at the feed bunk. Supplementation with feed additives that normalise rumen pH and reduce systemic immune activation can reduce the risk of problems as a result of heat stress in dairy cow. Reduce the risk of hindgut acidosis as a result of heat stress in dairy cows with prebiotics such as Selko LactiBute.

Ideally, a programme for heat stress in cattle should be implemented about three weeks before the cows become affected by dairy cow heat stress to give the animals enough time to adjust to the changes.

Nutritional management is a vital aspect of mitigating heat stress in dairy cows, offering feasible and effective solutions to maintain productivity and health. By implementing targeted nutritional interventions, such as supplementing with essential nutrients and feed additives, dairy farmers can alleviate the adverse effects of heat stress, ensuring optimal performance and well-being in their herds. Maxcare AHS stands out as a proven solution, providing the necessary micro-ingredients in optimal concentrations to combat heat stress and enhance cattle productivity.