Heat-stressed cows spend more time standing

Mar 12, 2013

A new study by researchers at the University of Arizona and Northwest Missouri State University shows that standing and lying behavior can predict heat stress in cows.

In a presentation at the 2013 ADSA Midwest Branch / ASAS Midwestern Section Meeting, Dr. Jamison Allen explained that predicting is vital for keeping cows healthy and productive. Cows will pant, eat less and produce less milk when their increases.

Allen said cows prefer standing to lying on hot days. Cows stand to allow more of their surface area to disperse heat into the air. Allen and his colleagues were curious to see if standing behavior could be used to predict core body temperature.

The researchers used two tools to study the relationship between behavior and temperature. They fitted each cow with an intra-vaginal sensor to measure core body temperature. They also fitted each cow with a special leg sensor to measure the angle of the leg and track whether the cow was standing or lying.

After comparing data from cows in Arizona, California and Minnesota, the researchers concluded that standing behavior and core body temperature are strongly correlated. Allen said cows stood for longer bouts of time as their core rose from 101 degrees Fahrenheit to above 102 degrees.

"We can predict the animal's behavior to stand according to their core temperature," Allen said.

According to Allen, could use standing behavior to improve well being and efficiency in their herds. He said producers could use coolers and misters to target a specific core body temperature. By encouraging cows to lie down, producers will also help their cows conserve energy.

Allen recommended future studies to see how cows respond to different . He said researchers could also study cow behavior related to humidity.

Allen's abstract was titled "Effect of core body temperature or time of day on lying behavior of lactating ." The research was presented Mar. 12 as part of the Animal Behavior, Housing and Well Being Oral Session.

Explore further: 22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

Provided by American Society of Animal Science

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Traces of cow’s methane emissions in the milk

May 27, 2011

Wageningen University researchers in the Netherlands are able to determine cows' methane emissions using the composition of fatty acids in their milk. This opens up the prospect of a method for reducing methane production ...

Holstein with mad cow disease was lame, lying down

Apr 27, 2012

(AP) -- The cow that was recently discovered with mad cow disease through routine testing in California had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down at a dairy, federal officials revealed ...

Names give cows a lotta bottle

Jan 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A cow with a name produces more milk than one without, scientists at Newcastle University have found. Drs Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson have shown that by giving a cow a name and treating ...

Recommended for you

22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

2 hours ago

Poachers slaughtered 22 elephants in Mozambique in the first two weeks of September, environmentalists said Monday, warning that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an "industrialised" ...

User comments : 0