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Turning sprinklers on for longer (and off for shorter periods) has better cooling effects

A brand new research paper has shown that when the sprinklers are turned on for longer periods in the same overall time, cows’ body temperatures and air temperatures are lowered more than frequent, shorter sprinkler periods. Water use went up from 59L/min to 99L/min (19L vs 34L/cow/hour) but this paid off with more comfortable cooling effects in the cow. Follow this reference link for Tresoldi et al, 2018 Journal of Dairy Science from UC Davis, California. – opens in a new window

In this experiment, 2 groups of 10 cows were PAK milk shed good fansexposed to either frequent, short bursts of sprinkler activity (1.5 mins “on” every 3, 6 and 12 minutes)  or longer bursts: 3 minutes “on” every 3, 6 or 12 minutes for 45 minutes duration. Body temperature, Respiration rate, Air temperature, Temperature Humidity Index and the temperature on the surface of the shoulder and leg of the cows were measured.

The key point to take away from the results was that BOTH strategies were effective at cooling down cows to comfortable limits, with no differences found in THI, air temperature or shoulder surface temperature. However, using the higher water volume for longer did show lower body temperatures by 0.5ºC and lower temperatures at the leg of the cows.

This is a useful research paper in terms of cow physiology but future research should include performance indicators such as energy-corrected milk volume per day, conducted over longer periods of time. Only then could producers make the decision as to when it would be of better value to use more water.

A new publication has shown the same strain of Lactobacillus garvieae growing in sand and in the udder

This novel research shows that it is likely that sand bedding can be a reservoir for L. garvieae bacteria for infecting milk in the bovine udder.

L. garvieae isolated from 25 samples of sand bedding from 2 farms in Minnesota and 54 samples of quarter milk from infected cows on these farms, share the same genetic profile. DNA testing showed that the samples were 80-100% similar, suggesting that they are highly related. Sand samples were collected the day bedding was replaced, and so was at its maximum level of contamination.

L. garvieae can be found on fish, vegetables, milk and cheese and has been discussed as a potential human pathogen in the past.

This article from E. Giovanni and a group of scientists from the United States, Italy and Finland comes from the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 2018

Hot environments for dry cows can risk their early lactation milk production. It is easy to concentrate cooling efforts on the producing cows and leave dry cows to a lower priority. However, research has shown that cooling dry cows can better prepare their metabolism and increase milk hormone sensitivity for a more productive lactation.

When cooled dry cows were compared with heat stressed dry cows in a cross-over experiment (meaning the same cows were exposed to the same barn, on the same feed and housing conditions but cooling and non-cooled systems were swapped over periods of time), it was found that circulating prolactin – the hormone driving milk production – was lower in the cooled dry cows, but their receptor expression was enhanced. This means that when they calved, they had more prolactin receptors available to receive the milk-producing hormone in early lactation. Reference in this link.

Dry cows are better prepared for lactation if kept comfortably cool!

Are you wondering why 1st Service Conception Rates are lower this month?

Autumn is coming: no, not Game of Thrones in Dairy farms, but temperatures are lower and those summer days seem like a while behind us. However, you may still be seeing the results of those very hot days earlier in the year. Have you noticed a drop in 21-day pregnancy rates or 1st service conception rates? They may be linked to those hot days.

This publication from Theriogenology, 2003 explains the processes going on in a very clear fashion: (link opens in a new window)

Awareness of heat abatement measures are essential for better welfare and improved productivity on farms all over the globe!Heat Strses and Repro diagram Therio 2003

Exciting beginnings

Here’s the start of our new business: Inspire CattLogo Size real 512sqle Solutions! I’m super-excited to offer our services: We have loads of experience in cows and youngstock in management systems all over the world. Our passion is to optimise efficiency in your business through improving the welfare of cattle.

 

 

 

At the HEART of this, I am a Vet that believes in Evidence, so all of our advicartistic blossom bright cloudse has foundations in published, peer-reviewed scientific literature. This maximises the likelihood of our advice bringing the best value to your enterprise.