Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2009
Publication Date: June 24, 2009
Citation: Brown Brandl, T.M., Eigenberg, R.A., Nienaber, J.A. 2009. Water Spray Cooling During Handling of Feedlot Cattle. In: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers. June 21-24, 2009. Reno, NV. ASABE Paper No. 96201. St. Joseph, Mich.:ASABE. Technical Abstract: Activities involved in receiving or working (e.g. sorting, dehorning, castration, weighing, implanting, etc.) of feedlot cattle cause an increase in body temperature. During hot weather the increased body temperature may disrupt normal behaviors including eating, which can be especially detrimental to the well-being and performance of the animals. A study was conducted to investigate sprinkle cooling of representative animals at the time of working to provide extra evaporative cooling to offset the added heat produced by activity. Sixty-four cross-bred heifers were randomly assigned to one of eight pens. On four separate occasions, during hot conditions, the heifers were moved from their pens to and from the working facility (a building with a scale and squeeze chute located 160-200 m). While in the squeeze chute, four of the pens of heifers were sprinkle cooled and the remaining four pens were worked as normal. The heifers that were treated had a body temperature that peaked sooner with a lower peak body temperature, and recovered sooner. The treated animals also had a lower panting score. The behavior measurements that were taken did not indicate a change in behavior. It was concluded that sprinkle cooling feedlot cattle during a working event during hot conditions was beneficial.