Cooling Hot Dry Cows can Enhance Milk Production

Comfy dry cows

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!

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