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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 255-262 in Fifth International Dairy Housing Proceedings of the 29-31 January 2003 Conference (Fort Worth, Texas USA)  701P0203.(doi:10.13031/2013.11629)
Authors:   J.A. Nienaber, G.L. Hahn, T.M. Brown-Brandl, R.A. Eigenberg
Keywords:   Heat wave, Temperature-Humidity Index, Shade, Respiration rate, Sprinkling

Cattle are adaptable to a wide range of climatic conditions, but can be severely challenged by sudden heat waves. Repeated hot, humid environments, with little air flow or cloud cover, are periods of concern, especially if conditions persist over a three-day period without significant nighttime relief. Early signs of animal discomfort include shade seeking, reluctance to leave the waterer, and increased respiration rate. Heat distress is generally marked by open mouth panting, little or no feed consumption, and excessive drooling. Most management practices to combat the effects requires planning so that shade can be provided or water can be applied to wet animal hides, thus allowing evaporation to occur. Animal handling and routine treatment should be avoided if heat wave conditions are predicted.

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