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Dry cows need love too – tips for helping them.

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Heat-stressed dry cows will produce less milk, but there are ways to help them. 
It’s estimated that heat-stressed dry cows account for $810 million in milk loss annually in the United States (J. Dairy Sci. 99:9931-9941). Conversely, taking steps to cool dry cows was shown to add to farm profits.

How does heat stress during the dry period affect milk yield? In part, it causes abnormal mammary development and lower pre-calving dry matter intake.

Immune response pre- and post-calving becomes compromised when dry cows are heat stressed (B.C. do Amaral et al., 2011), creating health problems after calving. Subclinical ketosis, for example, increases by 50%. Additionally, calves born from heat-stressed dry cows experience lower immunity and diminished milk and reproductive performance later in life.

Tips to help heat-stressed dry cows
Are your fans clean and well-maintained? Just one-eighth inch of dust can hamper performance by up to 30%. Stocking density matters as well. To read about nutritional strategies – and to see research on the many positive effects of B Vitamin supplementation – read our article Do Not Forget Your Dry Cows During Heat Stress.

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Tools for minimizing heat stress

What happens to a cow when there is a rise in air temperature and humidity? Negative outcomes increase. Using a temperature-humidity index (THI) can help you identify the different levels of heat stress and how different ranges can negatively affect cow performance. See the chart that helps you pinpoint when to begin adjusting management and…

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An easier summer for you and your cows

Investing in nutrition and management during heat stress can provide a high return on investment. Cows of all stages of production can benefit from being managed and fed to reduce the impact of THI. Read more about the benefits of meeting your herd’s extra needs during hot weather, plus check out the informative Stress Threshold…

Read Article

Tools for minimizing heat stress

What happens to a cow when there is a rise in air temperature and humidity? Negative outcomes increase. Using a temperature-humidity index (THI) can help you identify the different levels of heat stress and how different ranges can negatively affect cow performance. See the chart that helps you pinpoint when to begin adjusting management and…

Read Article

An easier summer for you and your cows

Investing in nutrition and management during heat stress can provide a high return on investment. Cows of all stages of production can benefit from being managed and fed to reduce the impact of THI. Read more about the benefits of meeting your herd’s extra needs during hot weather, plus check out the informative Stress Threshold…

Read Article

Another reason to mitigate heat stress: effects on bovine mammary gland function

Heat stress lowers milk production by 25 to 40%. The economic losses it creates are well-documented. Are you familiar with the many ways in which heat stress causes harm? Research shows that during the dry period, heat stress can harm mammary growth and reduce milk yield in the following lactation. Evidence also suggests heat stress…

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