Friday Focus – Prevention of heat stress

In June, as temperatures began to rise, we discussed drinking behavior in dairy cows, noting that water plays a key role in milk production, control of body temperature and many other body functions in dairy cattle.

Today, with the recent heat wave that is impacting many in the U.S., we want to focus on the prevention of heat stress.

Tips and tricks

  • Check ventilation capacity and increase ventilation rate when necessary (mechanical ventilation)
  • Control water management: at least 10 percent of all cows can drink simultaneously from large open troughs
  • Check cleanliness of water troughs daily
  • It is advisable to feed a special ration (supplemented with additional minerals and vitamins) to the cows at least two times a day (to keep the ration fresh and tasty)
  • During hot periods, it is advisable to only have the cows in pasture during the night or during the cool moments (evening, early morning) of the day

For more information about the prevention of heat stress, including the effects of heat stress on the cow and measures to prevent heat stress, visit

For more farming tips from Lely, click here.

Sources: Udder Health Centre Netherlands (UGCN), Animal Health Service Deventer, Intervet Schering-Plough

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