Managing Fall Heat Stress

Sep 01, 2020

Tara Jo Bina
Countryside Feed Livestock Nutrition

Heat stress. This seasonal topic is something we tend to think about in the summer when temperatures are up in the 80s, 90s, and 100s. As temperatures start to cool off in the fall It is important to remember that cows experience heat stress at lower temperatures than humans. The longer cows battle heat stress, the harder it is for them to recover from the day’s heat and to add insult to injury, the THI stays much higher because of humidity in early fall. This means when temperatures do not drop into the 50s at night transitioning into fall, cows struggle to recover from daytime highs of only 70 to 80! Here are a few tips for managing heat stress as we head into fall:
  1. Timing heat abatement removal
Dairy cows need temperatures to be consistently below 59 in order to effectively recover from the heat of the day without help of heat abatement. Beef cattle eat less feed and produce less heat than dairy cows so they can transition off of heat abatement products when lows are consistently in the mid to low 60s.
  1. Drinking Water
Hydration is key to cattle battling heat stress. Providing plenty of fresh water and regularly cleaning waterers encourages cattle to drink regularly.
  1. Keep air moving
Keep encouraging air flow to help cattle stay cool. Wheather this means running fan systems or maintaining drylots to promote airflow, keep these practices going, your cattle will thank you!
Helping cattle stay comfortable is very important even as temperatures cool down. For more information on managing heat stress click here. If it is time to remove heat abatement from your rations or you want to discuss the best timing for your cattle contact your Countryside Feed representative!

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