A review of measuring, assessing and mitigating heat stress in dairy cattle

Ji, Boyu and Banhazi, Thomas and Perano, Kristen and Ghahramani, Afshin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9648-4606 and Bowtell, Les ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6694-7609 and Wang, Chaoyuan and Li, Baoming (2020) A review of measuring, assessing and mitigating heat stress in dairy cattle. Biosystems Engineering, 199. pp. 4-26. ISSN 1537-5110


Heat stress is a significant challenge in dairy farming systems. Dairy cows under heat stress will encounter impaired welfare leading to production losses. As the frequency and magnitude of heat stress events increase in the coming decades, a focus on heat stress reduction studies becomes important. Modelling and on-farm experiments have been used to assess the effects of heat stress on livestock over the last few decades. Mitigation solutions including optimal shed structure, ventilation, feeding regimes, farm management and genetic selection have all been explored. However, under different farm conditions, the heat tolerance and coping ability of dairy cows can vary significantly. Until now, the results from different mathematical models have provided a variety of heat stress thresholds for on-farm use. In practice, it is still costly to determine an accurate heat stress level in order to identify the mitigation requirements. This review summarises previous studies on the effects of heat stress on intensively reared dairy cows and different mitigation approaches. We have undertaken a comparative analysis of thermal indices, animal responses, and mitigation approaches. Recommendations are then given for developing a framework to enhance the measurement, assessment and mitigation of heat stress. Robust monitoring systems, big data analyses and artificial intelligence algorithms are needed for the future development of dynamic, self-calibrating model-based systems, which could provide real-time assessment and minimisation of heat stress.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 01:32
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2021 00:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: precision livestock farming; dairy cowheat stress; thermal index
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0702 Animal Production > 070299 Animal Production not elsewhere classified
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3003 Animal production > 300399 Animal production not elsewhere classified
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8305 Primary Animal Products > 830599 Primary Animal Products not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2020.07.009
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40069

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