Controlling heat stress in dairy cows is extremely important.
"The stresses associated with hot and humid environments have huge adverse effects on a dairy cow’s metabolism by greatly increasing her body maintenance requirements," says Stephen Nickerson, dairy scientist at the University of Georgia. "It must be kept in mind that dairy cattle are of northern European origin and are generally intolerant of high environmental temperature above 77°F, especially when the relative humidity is greater than 80%."
In a recent post at eXtension.org, Nickerson discusses the negative effects of heat stress on production and reproduction, as well as methods to minimize heat stress. Several color photos are provided as examples.
"Helping the cow to cool herself is probably most important," Nickerson says, "and shade is probably the easiest and least expensive way to do this."
Source: Dairy eXtension