In times of high temperatures, National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (SENASA) Recommends that all livestock producers in the country adopt this Preventive measures to reduce the effects of heat stress in animals,
Stress is an adaptive response that allows animals to cope with environmental challenges, including changes in temperature. When optimal conditions are exceeded, the body attempts to adapt to the new environmental condition. However, at high ambient temperatures, adaptive mechanisms fail to dissipate the excess heat generated. (read in animal husbandry issue, Effects of heat stress on cattle for meat production,
Heat stress is the set of physiological and behavioral changes that occur in animals when they are subjected to environmental conditions that exceed their comfort temperature or thermoneutral zone and are unable to regulate their internal temperature.,
In this situation, animals tend to:
to reduce physical activity.
increase Respiratory rate.
to reduce food consumption.
increase water consumption.
look for Shadow.
increase Gasping and drooling.
In addition to its negative effects on animal welfare, heat stress can cause:
Reduce In fodder consumption and fodder efficiency.
Loss Weight and body condition.
deteriorate Performance and reproduction rates.
increase Of danger of disease.
increase Of mortality rate.
Animal-specific factors – such as age, color and hair length – influence susceptibility to heat stress. Sensa recalls that the most affected are those animals whose body fat levels are stored at the highest level and that animals with black fur and in the termination phase are most affected.,
He Type of diet also related to heat stroke risk, The risk is increased by grazing toxic pastures such as fescue or other pastures infected with ergoalkaloid-producing fungi, as well as the administration of high-calorie rations.
in beef cattle, provide Adequate shade space for all cattle. Tree shade is one of the most effective, as it not only reduces radiation but also produces lower air temperatures due to evaporation from the leaves. Where the provision of shade is artificial, there should be air movement below (at a height of 3 to 4 metres). Each animal should have enough space (2 to 4 square meters) to avoid overcrowding.
provide Fresh, clean and abundant water. Consider that an adult bovine drinks 7% of its live weight in water per day. Perform water analysis to determine salt concentration and prevent rejection of its consumption.
drinkers They should be accessible and close to the animals. Control flow and pressure during periods of extreme heat and ensure adequate space in drinkers. Sudden intake of water after dehydration for some time can cause intoxication with neurological symptoms. (read in animal husbandry issue, Livestock consume up to 60% more water due to heat,
Avoid stressful management, When this is not possible, herd peacefully while respecting the animals’ movements. Do the closure and sleeve work first thing in the morning or late evening. Provide some source of water and food in the enclosures where animals live. Check the weather forecast before scheduling farm work. Plan all operations and prepare necessary materials to minimize their stay in enclosures and corridors.
follow a diet, It is convenient to know the level of infection with ergoalkaloid-producing fungi present in pastures. In free-range fattening, feed 30 to 40% of the ration in the morning and the rest in the afternoon; And increase the percentage of fiber in the diet.
Cool the field when high temperatures are expected, Either early in the morning or during the night, use a sufficient flow rate to penetrate the hair. If you wet them during very hot hours and insufficiently, this can be counterproductive. To reduce indirect radiation, the floor of the pen can be wetted without even getting dirty.
Consideration of these measures will contribute to improved animal welfare and benefit various actors in the livestock chain.
If you have any questions, consult the establishment’s veterinarian.
Complying with animal welfare is a benefit to all species.
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