Are your cows feeling the heat?
As the weather heats up, so does the level of discomfort your cows feel. The negative impacts of heat stress can include reduced intakes, lower milk production (up to 20% and beyond depending on the severity of the heat stress), milk fat depression, lower fertility, reduced immunity, lower feed efficiency and reduced growth of young stock.
Manage the cows’ environment to reduce heat stress.
- Provide shade—solar radiation and ambient air temperature are the primary external sources of heat affecting the cow.
- Provide adequate ventilation—utilize both natural and artificial means to create both airflow and ventilation.
- Utilize sprinkler/soakers—evaporative cooling by wetting the skin is an effect way to dissipate body heat.
- Provide adequate drinking water—water intake increases during heat stress up to 67%.
- Provide fresh feed—fresh feed and multiple feedings stimulate intake.
- Avoid overcrowding—over crowded cows tend to eat fewer but larger meals. This behavior will cause a much more dramatic and prolonged pH decline within the rumen.
- Consider feed additives—the inclusion of some feed additives may be beneficial.
Are you considering ration changes to help reduce the loss of production, reduced fertility and stress of hot weather on your cows? If not, you should be.
Contact your Furst-McNess representative today and know that your cows and your ration are ready to combat heat stress!