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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Water Sprinkling on Incidence of Zoonotic Pathogens, Performance, Carcass Traits, and Behavior in Feedlot Cattle

Authors
item Morrow, Julie
item Mitloehner, F - UC DAVIS
item Johnson, A - NATIONAL PORK BOARD
item Galyean, M - TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
item Dailey, Jeffery
item Edrington, Thomas
item Anderson, Robin
item Genovese, Kenneth
item Poole, Toni
item Duke, Sara
item Callaway, Todd

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2005
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Citation: Morrow, J.L., Mitloehner, F.M., Johnson, A.K., Galyean, M.L., Dailey, J.W., Edrington, T.S., Anderson, R.C., Genovese, K.J., Poole, T.L., Duke, S.E., Callaway, T.R. 2005. Effect of water sprinkling on incidence of zoonotic pathogens, performance, carcass traits, and behavior in feedlot cattle. Journal of Animal Science. 83:1959-0966.

Interpretive Summary: Cattle undergo heat stress during high summer temperatures. Cattle are typically provided shade or misted/sprinkled with water to help them avoid heat stress. The effect of cooling cattle with water on pathogenic bacteria has not been previously examined. Feedlot cattle were sprinkled with water during the hottest parts of the day over a 4-month period. There was no difference found in E. coli, coliform, E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella populations on the hide or in the feces of cattle sprinkled with water compared with cattle that were not sprinkled. Sprinkling did alter the respiration rates of cattle, but did not affect performance of the animals or pathogen populations.

Technical Abstract: Heat stress is a common challenge for fed cattle in the Texas Panhandle during summer, and typical methods of cooling cattle include provision of shade and/or water. The effect of cooling cattle with water has not been studied with respect to the incidence of zoonotic pathogens. Four pens of heifers (n = 41) were cooled using sprinklers (SPRINK), and four pens (n = 43) served as controls (CONT). Heifers were crossbred Charolais, with white and red hair coats. Sprinkling was initiated when cattle were on full concentrate feed (July). Blood, fecal samples, hide swipes, and body weights were collected on d 0, 28, 63 and 98. Average daily gain, DMI and G:F were calculated for each period. Respiration rates were measured once weekly, and drinking, standing, lying, and agonistic behaviors were observed using a 10-min scan sampling technique for a 24-h period during one warm period. Carcass traits were collected 36 h after processing. Behavior and performance data were analyzed as a completely randomized block design. Pathogen data were analyzed using X2 analysis. There was no (P>0.054) difference between treatments for the incidence of Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7 in feces or on hides. The most prevalent Salmonella serovars were Kentucky, Muenster, and Meleagridis. Performance measures did not differ between treatments (P>0.10). Respiration rates tended (P = 0.053) to be lower in SPRINK, and SPRINK heifers spent more time drinking (P = 0.01) and tended to engage in more (P = 0.08) lying behaviors. There were no (P > 0.05) differences between treatments for carcass traits. Sprinkling cattle to cool them during heat stress altered their behavior and had some effect on their respiration rates but it did not affect performance or the incidence of zoonotic pathogens in feces or on hides.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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