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Benefits of Providing Shade to Feedlot Cattle of Different Breeds

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009517.(doi:10.13031/2013.30031)
Authors:   Tammi M Brown-Brandl, R A Eigenberg, J A Nienaber
Keywords:   Cattle, feedlot, heat stress, shade, respiration rate

Heat stress in cattle causes decreases in feed intake and growth and, in extreme cases, can cause death of vulnerable animals. A simple shade can reduce the animal's radiant heat load by 30% or more. However, for most feedlots, adding shade structures to all pens is cost prohibitive. The objective of this study was to determine how animals,with known risk factors (color, previous cases of pneumonia, condition score, and temperament) for heat stress,respond to having access to shade. Feedlot heifers (384 animals; 128 animals/year for 3 years) of two breeds (Angus and Charolais) and two cross breeds (MARC I [¼ Charolais, ¼ Braunvieh, ¼ Limousin, ⅛ Angus, and ⅛ Hereford] and MARC III [¼ Pinzgauer, ¼ Red Poll, ¼ Hereford, and ¼ Angus]) were selected and penned on the basis of weight and breed. Heifers were weighed, condition scored, and temperament scored every 28 days. Heat tolerance was accessed by measurements of respiration rate taken twice daily at 0800 and 1300 h on a preselected group of 64 animals. It was determined that the shade lowered the stress level of all animals, and had a greater impact on the black than the white animals with the dark red and tan hided animals in the middle. However, shade did not impact weights or gains of any of the breeds.

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