How to get your cows
through the summer period

Prolonged heat in the summer months is often stressful for dairy cows.

For dairy farmers, this results in several challenges: decreasing harvest volumes, decreased feed quality for the following cuts and decreased dairy performance due to heat stress.

Heat stress starts already at 20 degrees

Climate circumstances are often an underestimated problem for high yielding dairy cows.

Starting at 20 °C and high humidity conditions, heat stress negatively influences performance and health of the animals. The cow tries to counteract and decreases feed intake, in order reduce metabolic warmth, consequently resulting in decreased performance, too. The result is an energy deficit!

How to recognize heat stress:

  • rapid respiration up to panting
  • stretched neck and open mouth
  • increased water intake
  • decreased resting time
  • reduced feed intake

Current studies: Additional water supply reduces stress

The effects on the cow result not only from current daily values, but also from the conditions, e.g. temperature and humidity, of previous days (OTTEN et al. 2022). Heat stress over several days increases the negative influence on feed intake and milk yield.

In the current study, however, heat stress over several days partially reduced water intake, contrary to the general assumption. The presumed reason for this was that heifers and weaker animals were pushed away from the drinking places by higher-ranking cows.

It is therefore all the more important to ensure water intake at all times and in sufficient quantities, even for lower-ranking cows, during long periods of heat. By offering additional drinking facilities during these phases, the cows can be positively supported and stress situations can be alleviated.

Conclusion: Duration of heat stress and water availability play an important role in dairy cows.

Feeding against heat stress – more concentrates are no solution!

As cows prefer concentrates under heat stress conditions, fibre efficiency tends to decrease, increasing the risk of acidosis. To keep the risk of acidosis but also the displacement of forage amounts as low as possible, rumen-stable fats are recommended.

Maintain performance with rumen-stable fats!

Rumen-stable fats relieve the cow’s metabolism as they produce less metabolic heat than carbohydrates. Trials have shown that performance can be stabilized if components rich in starch are replaced by rumen-stable fats during the summer season.

Watch our video to learn more about the benefits and uses of rumen-stable fat powders

Our solution:

With our rumen-stable fat powders BEWI-SPRAY® RS 70 or BEWI-SPRAY® 99 M you can supplement the ration on different raw materials (rapeseed or palm oil).

With a dosage of 200-500 g/animal per day, the energy concentration can be increased in stress situations without burdening the rumen.