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EFFECTS OF VENTILATION AND MISTING ON BEHAVIOUR OF DAIRY CATTLE IN THE HOT SEASON IN SOUTH ITALY
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Pp. 303-311 in Fifth International Dairy Housing Proceedings of the 29-31 January 2003 Conference (Fort Worth, Texas USA) 701P0203.(doi:10.13031/2013.11636)
Authors: F. Calegari, L. Calamari and E. Frazzi
Keywords: Cooling systems, Behaviour, Dairy cows, Milk yield
This research evaluated the effectiveness of the ventilation and misting equipment on three farms
with Italian Friesian cows in the South of Italy. This research was carried out in the hotter period
(May - September) during two consecutive years.
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At each farm there were two homogeneous groups of animals with respect to production, number
of calving and lactation phase The first group was raised in a pen with environmental
conditioning system limited to the feeding area and carried out with the use of ventilation and
misting (FM). The second group, which was the control group (C), was not conditioned. The
microclimatic parameters (temperature and relative humidity) were recorded continuously at
each farm by electronic probes which were put at animal height and connected to a data logger.
Weekly individual measurements were performed on milk yield and behaviour observing the
animals in different areas two times a day. The difference in milk yield between C and FM group
ranged between 1-3 kg/head/day and, in the hottest period, ranged between 2-4 kg/head/day.
Animal behaviour changed as the climatic conditions varied. On average, in the conditioned pen,
we noticed higher values in the rate of standing animals in the feeding area (18.6 % in FM vs.
12.9% in C) and lower values in the rate of lying animals in the resting area (31.3% in FM vs.
34.0% in C). These results show the value of the treatment with the use of ventilation and misting
of water; however the animals tend to stand for a longer period when the treatment is limited to
the feeding area and this behaviour means an increase in physical stress.