Developing a Heat Stress Model in Dairy Cows Using an Electric Heat Blanket(EHB)

Date
2017-01-01
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Al-Qaisi, Mohmmad
Horst, Erin
Kvidera, Sara
Mayorga, Johana
Shouse, Carrie
Lei, Samantha
Timms, Leo
Baumgard, Lance
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Abstract

Heat stress (HS) is an annual environmental issue which negatively affects a variety of production parameters including milk yield and composition, growth, and reproduction.However, precisely studying HS typically requires expensive climate controlled facilities; infrastructure inaccessible to most researchers.Thus, study objectiveswere to explore the efficacy of an electric heat blanket (EHB) as an alternative method to study HSand to determine whether EHB-induced hyperthermia affects production parameters similar to natural HS.Utilizing the EHB increased body temperature indices (rectal temperatures and respiration rate)and reduced dry matter intakeand milk yield. Our results indicate that employing the EHB affects production parameters similarly to natural HS and thus the EHB is an effectiveandinexpensive research tool to evaluate the biological consequences of HS in lactating dairy cows.

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