For dairy cows, heat stress has been recognized as a big issue for decades, and recently this problem is rising even more due to global warming and the hit of summer heat waves. Heat stress strongly affects multiple aspects of cows’ lives, among which milk production, fertility, behavior and welfare. In this study, 8 dairy cattle farms located in Northern Italy were monitored considering the barn building, the barn microenvironment, external local weather and dairy cattle behavior. The monitoring lasted for 1 year, by collecting continuously data for 1 week during the three periods of thermoneutral, hot and cold seasons, in each farm. These data include temperature, relative humidity and illuminance through environmental sensors; daily lying and standing time, number and duration of daily lying bouts through accelerometers; and the respiration rate through eye monitoring. The temperature-humidity index (THI) was calculated both inside and outside of the barn. The external data were obtained by downloading temperature and relative humidity of the local ground-based control units. Results show that cows reduced the lying time and increased the standing time, the lying bouts and respiration rate as the increasing THI in the barn. Therefore, both the environmental conditions were not optimal and the barn structure and/or forced ventilation were not suitable to respond efficaciously to animals’ welfare. From this survey, it was very useful to monitor continuously the barn conditions and animal behavior with sensors in early detecting undesired environmental conditions.

Monitoring Environmental and Behavioral Aspects on Dairy Cattle Farms to Reduce Heat Stress / D. Lovarelli, M. Guarino - In: International Symposium on Animal Environment and Welfare[s.l] : Chongqing Academy of Animal Sciences, 2021. - pp. 295-301 (( convegno International Symposium on Animal Environment & Welfare tenutosi a Chongqing nel 2021.

Monitoring Environmental and Behavioral Aspects on Dairy Cattle Farms to Reduce Heat Stress

D. Lovarelli
Primo
;
M. Guarino
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

For dairy cows, heat stress has been recognized as a big issue for decades, and recently this problem is rising even more due to global warming and the hit of summer heat waves. Heat stress strongly affects multiple aspects of cows’ lives, among which milk production, fertility, behavior and welfare. In this study, 8 dairy cattle farms located in Northern Italy were monitored considering the barn building, the barn microenvironment, external local weather and dairy cattle behavior. The monitoring lasted for 1 year, by collecting continuously data for 1 week during the three periods of thermoneutral, hot and cold seasons, in each farm. These data include temperature, relative humidity and illuminance through environmental sensors; daily lying and standing time, number and duration of daily lying bouts through accelerometers; and the respiration rate through eye monitoring. The temperature-humidity index (THI) was calculated both inside and outside of the barn. The external data were obtained by downloading temperature and relative humidity of the local ground-based control units. Results show that cows reduced the lying time and increased the standing time, the lying bouts and respiration rate as the increasing THI in the barn. Therefore, both the environmental conditions were not optimal and the barn structure and/or forced ventilation were not suitable to respond efficaciously to animals’ welfare. From this survey, it was very useful to monitor continuously the barn conditions and animal behavior with sensors in early detecting undesired environmental conditions.
Animal behavior; dairy cattle; temperature-humidity index; lying time; barn structure
Settore AGR/10 - Costruzioni Rurali e Territorio Agroforestale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/880287
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