Did you know that the temperature and humidity in the shed is often higher than the Met Office reading at weather stations? To give you an up-to-date picture of the climate in the shed and how the cow experiences this, we have installed temperature and humidity meters in sheds throughout the UK.
We display both the temperature and Temperature Humidity Index (THI) to help understand the potential degree of heat stress LIVE on this page! Further down the page you will also find the average temperature and THI for the past 24 hours and week in the sheds.
Humans do not really feel the impact of heat until temperatures reach 31°C, yet cows are physically uncomfortable and demonstrate signs of heat stress such as behavioural changes from as little as 20°C (at 60% relative humidity). Signs of heat stress can occur if the THI crosses any of the thresholds shown even for just 1-2 hours.
The consequences of heat stress are typically non-visible effects and only observed over a period of days, or weeks. These occur when the daily 24-hour average THI is equal to, or above the thresholds shown and begin at much lower temperatures – fertility traits (oestrus activity) are impacted once daily 24-hour average temperatures exceed as little as 14°C (THI 57) and conception rates from 20°C (THI 65 – both readings with a relative humidity of 60%).
It is very important to cool the cow from the outside. Fans in the shed can help. This keeps air moving through the cows allowing heat loss through convection and the use of sprinklers in combination with fans in areas of high density e.g. collecting yards, can also aid this process.
Nutritionally you can also make adjustments to support the cow. Our product, Equaliser® CoolCow, can be compared to drinking an ice cube in a glass. CoolCow works from within to lower body temperature and increase water absorption. This helps the cow to actively get through the warmer summer period while maintaining health, fertility and performance.
For further nutritional support and advice please contact the Cargill team.
To learn more about Equaliser® CoolCow click below.
Do you have questions about your summer herd management?
Contact the Cargill team today: