Heat stress and effect of shade materials on hormonal and behavior response of dairy cattle: a review
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In tropical countries, at high temperatures, several physiological rearrangements occur in cows as they attempt to facilitate heat dissipation and/or reduce metabolic heat production. Following exposure to heat, cattle appear to acclimatize within 2–7 weeks. The failure of homeostasis at high temperatures may lead to reduced productivity or even death. The situation is even worse when humidity adds to high temperature. Livestock with elevated body temperature exhibit lower DMI and growth with less efficiency, reducing profitability for dairy farms in hot and humid climates. Shading of feed and water also offers production advantages. Although several elaborate methods for reducing heat stress in cows have been reported, simple shade materials appear to be the most cost-effective methods that are currently applicable to tropical developing countries. Different materials are being used to provide shade during warm weather. The shade material determines the microclimate—it should be light, strong, durable, weatherproof, good looking and a bad conductor of heat, and free from tendency to condense moisture inside. This review discusses various shade materials and their advantages and disadvantages in different situations.
KeywordsHeat stress Shade Behavior Dairy cattle Crossbred calves Hormone
The authors are thankful to the Director, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, for providing all the necessary facilities for collecting the references. The authors are also thankful to the Director, ICAR-RCER, Patna, for giving the valuable time and suggestion to complete this review paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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