Management Strategies to Reduce Effects of Thermal Stress on Lactating Dairy Cattle
AuthorZimbelman, Rosemarie Burgos
AdvisorCollier, Robert J.
Committee ChairCollier, Robert J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTwo strategies to reduce impact of heat stress on high producing dairy cows were examined. The first was to recalculate the temperature-humidity index (THI) using high producing dairy cows under diurnal summer conditions. This re-evaluation confirmed that current THI values underestimate the severity of heat stress levels. Therefore, cooling of dairy cattle during warm summer months should begin at a THI of 68. Previously, a THI equal to or greater than 72 has been used to define onset of heat stress. This study demonstrated that a THI greater than or equal to 68 is sufficient to increase body heat storage, respiration rate, skin evaporative heat loss, declines in feed intake and milk yield. A second objective involved three studies carried out to evaluate use of niacin in dairy cow rations to improve evaporative heat loss and resistance to heat stress. Niacin is known to cause intense vasodilation in human and lab species. We hypothesized that increasing vasodilation would improve evaporative heat loss in dairy cows. In the first niacin study, supplementation of lactating dairy cows with an encapsulated rumen by-pass form of niacin (NIASHURE™; Balchem Corporation, New Hampton, NY) at a dose of 12 g/d proved effective in alleviating some affects of heat stress during mild thermal stress. We hypothesized that encapsulated niacin would induce vasodilation effects documented in humans and lab animals increasing evaporative heat loss. Past research demonstrated that the possible mechanism for vasodilation affects seen by niacin were most likely due to prostaglandin D secretions. Niacin may act through increased prostaglandin D and E production and secretion by Langerhans cells which then act upon vascular endothelial prostaglandin D receptors to increase vasodilation. No studies have evaluated impact of encapsulated niacin on milk yield and composition during periods of thermal stress under commercial dairy conditions. The objective of the last study was to examine the effects of encapsulated niacin during heat stress on milk production and composition as well as core body temperatures under commercial conditions.
Degree ProgramAnimal Sciences