Keeping cattle cool and stress-free is goal of ARS study

March 25, 2010

Identifying the causes of heat stress in cattle and finding ways to manage it are the goals of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators who are helping producers deal with this significant production problem.

Heat stress can have serious consequences. While some exhibit little or no response to it, others may experience diminished appetite and feed intake, reduced growth rate, compromised disease resistance and, in extreme cases, death.

Extremely overwhelm an animal's natural ability to regulate its body temperature. But other factors are involved, and understanding them is essential for predicting, preventing and responding to potential scenarios, according to scientists at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Neb.

There, scientists are working together with cooperators to develop risk-assessment tools and management strategies for producers. This work has three main components: analyzing animal susceptibility, identifying contributing environmental factors, and evaluating management techniques.

In one study, USMARC agricultural engineer Tami Brown-Brandl and colleagues conducted several studies to identify factors that contribute to animal susceptibility to heat stress. They identified 11 influential factors, including coat color, health history, and temperament.

In another study, Brown-Brandl and USMARC agricultural engineers Roger Eigenberg and John Nienaber looked at environmental factors affecting the intensity of heat stress. They developed a model that incorporates predictions of how temperature, humidity, sun intensity, and wind speed will affect heat stress. The model is available online at: www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=17130.

Explore further: Doppler Ultrasound Helps Scientists Understand Fescue Toxicosis

More information: Read more about this research in the March 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar10/cattle0310.htm

Related Stories

Scientists Study Holstein Milk Production, Fertility

October 5, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have discovered why Holsteins—bred to produce more milk—are less fertile than before breeding efforts were stepped up to increase dairy production: It's ...

Tryptophan-enriched diet reduces pig aggression

March 18, 2010

Feeding the amino acid tryptophan to young female pigs as part of their regular diet makes them less aggressive and easier to manage, according to a study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

Making Climate Forecasts More Useful to Farmers

November 9, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Climate forecasts are becoming more useful to farmers and ranchers, thanks to research by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their cooperators.

Watermelon: Fruit on the Fast Track

December 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are studying how watermelons grow from tiny flowers to plus-size, market-ready produce in only five weeks. Their findings have resulted in the first reported ...

Recommended for you

Mice can smell oxygen

December 2, 2016

The genome of mice harbours more than 1000 odorant receptor genes, which enable them to smell myriad odours in their surroundings. Researchers at the Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics in Frankfurt, the University ...

How single-celled organisms navigate to oxygen

December 2, 2016

A team of researchers has discovered that tiny clusters of single-celled organisms that inhabit the world's oceans and lakes, are capable of navigating their way to oxygen. Writing in e-Life scientists at the University ...

Natural nomads, leatherback turtles opt to stay in place

December 2, 2016

Endangered leatherback sea turtles are known for their open-ocean migratory nature and nomadic foraging habits – traveling thousands of miles. But a Cornell naturalist and his colleagues have discovered an area along the ...

Neural stem cells serve as RNA highways too

December 1, 2016

Duke University scientists have caught the first glimpse of molecules shuttling along a sort of highway running the length of neural stem cells, which are crucial to the development of new neurons.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.