- Animal Nutrition & Health
- Future of Farming
- Feeding the World
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Ambient temperature and humidity levels can cause stress to your herd that can affect performance and health.
Even mild heat stress can have significant short term effects on productivity. There can also be an impact on overall health and fertility. Higher producing cows are more affected because they generate more heat while digesting the extra feed required for higher milk yield.
Cows are also more affected at certain critical periods. As few as 10% of inseminations in “heat stressed” cattle result in pregnancies, and cows that are stressed in early lactation show poorer fertility 2-3 months later due to impaired follicular development.
“Pre-fresh” and “fresh” are the two key points in the cow cycle around calving when the impact of heat stress is at its most damaging. Heat stress during late pregnancy may reduce birthweights and the quality of colostrum.
Management and nutritional programs should be used together to address poor intake and inconsistent eating patterns that can result in rumen acidosis.
Nutritional strategies are associated with the fact that the cows will consume less feed.