Physiological and Pyhsical Responses of Dairy Cattle to Heat Stress

Okuyucu İ. C., Akdağ A., Erdem H., OCAK N.

Black Sea Journal of Agriculture, vol.6, no.1, pp.95-103, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Herd management and nutrition strategies against increasing negative effects of global warming on farm animals have been the subject of significant debates in recent years. The fact that the changes in the environmental conditions are directly related to the habitats of the animals and the conditions inside the barn can affect the farm animals negatively. Although effects of heat stress differ according to species, especially high-yielding dairy cattle exposed to heat stress, respond with various interactive mechanism such as physiological, biochemical, immunological, anatomical and behavioral. Therefore, with the selection practices that have been going on for many years to improve the yield characteristics of the animals significantly increased. In this respect, the increased heat load in the body of dairy cattle due to the high productivity decreases their tolerance to environmental conditions. This situation adversely affects the productivity of cows with high breeding value. Yield losses, varying according to some factors about heat stress, can be partially explained by decreasing feed intake as a result of a series of hormonal responses affecting appetite center. However, the physiological requirements of cattle must be defined in order to develop appropriate strategies to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of heat stress. In this review, the variations in physiological, biochemical and behavioral mechanisms originating from heat stress in dairy cattle and the care, nutrition and herd management strategies that can be applied to eliminate or reduce the negative effects were discussed.