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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHARACTERIZING AND MANAGING ANIMAL STRESS/WELL-BEING IN LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION Title: Managing thermal stress in feedlot cattle: environment, animal susceptibility and management options from a U.S. perspective

Author
item Brown Brandl, Tami

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 29, 2012
Publication Date: June 15, 2013
Citation: Brown Brandl, T.M. 2013. Managing thermal stress in feedlot cattle: environment, animal susceptibility and management options from a U.S. perspective. In: Aland, A. and Banhazi, T., editors. Livestock Housing: Modern Management to Ensure Optimal Health and Welfare of Farm Animals. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Academic Publishers. Pages 189-208.

Interpretive Summary: Extreme summer time conditions can have a devastating impact on livestock, especially those animals who are typically housed outdoors without shelter, such as feedlot cattle. The effect of this hot weather on feedlot cattle can vary from little to no effect in a brief exposure, to causing reductions in feed intake and growth in a moderate event, to death of vulnerable animals during an extreme event. Three factors affect the response to hot weather: weather conditions, differences among individual animals, and differences in the management strategies. This document describes the economic impact of hot weather, each of the three factors an animal response to summer time conditions (weather factors, differences among individual animals, and different management strategies.

Technical Abstract: Extreme summer time conditions can have a devastating impact on livestock, especially those animals who are typically housed outdoors without shelter, such as feedlot cattle. The effect of heat stress on feedlot cattle can vary from little to no effect in a brief exposure, to causing reductions in feed intake, growth, and feed efficiency in a moderate event, to death of vulnerable animals during an extreme event. Heat stress can be broken down into three sub-components: environmental conditions, susceptibility of the individual animal, and the management options employed. This chapter describes the economic impact of heat stress, factors affecting an individual animal’s susceptibility to heat stress, and the management options that can be used to decrease the impact. In addition, the chapter will start to layout the means to combine these three factors into a management strategy.

Last Modified: 4/15/2014
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