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Relative Heat Tolerance Among Cattle of Different Genetics

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

Citation:  Paper number  034035,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14093) @2003
Authors:   T.M. Brown-Brandl, J.A. Nienaber, R.A. Eigenberg, T.L. Mader, J.L. Morrow, J.W. Dailey
Keywords:   Feedlot cattle, Heat stress, Respiration rate, Panting score, Color

Heat stress in cattle causes millions of dollars of losses each year due to production losses, and death losses in extreme cases. A study was designed to determine severity of heat stress among four genotypes of cattle. One-hundred twenty-eight feedlot heifers of four different genotypes were observed throughout a typical summer. Respiration rates, panting scores, and surface temperatures were taken twice a day on 10 animals/genotype for several weeks during the summer. Twenty-four hour behavior measurements were recorded for two heat-stress and two thermoneutral days. Results indicate dark-hided cattle were more stressed than light-hided cattle. Heat stress more than doubled drinking behavior, increased standing, and decreased eating, lying, and agonistic behaviors. Overall, it was found that dark-hided cattle with higher condition scores were more affected by heat stress.

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