Cow heat stress
The first heat wave may be over but the summer has just begun. For cows, these high temperatures mean massive stress. They can only partly release body heat through their skin, and standing up or panting hardly makes them any cooler. The opposite in fact: Because of its movements the cow chews less cud and eats less. At the same time it loses more saliva and with it the buffer substance that is needed for its rumen. Minerals are also lost because they are excreted through sweat.
One of the first consequences of the heat is degradation of milk components and milk yield as well as an increase in cell numbers (see figure). Mid- to long-term consequences include subclinical acidosis, abomasum, premature death, and missed pregnancies.
In order to prevent heat stress we recommend following the tips listed below.