Effect of the duration of high air temperature on cow’s milking performance in moderate climate conditions

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Abstract

The main aim of the presented investigation was to determine the effect of the air thermal conditions variability on cow’s milking performance in summer in a moderate climate. The analyses covered the summer months of 2012-2013 (June-September) and shorter, several-day periods characterized by the times of elevated or high air temperatures and by the declines and increases in milking performance. The research was conducted in a free stall barn for Holstein-Friesian cows. The study showed that the thermoneutral temperature for high yielding cows decreases gradually with the registered increasingly warmer summer periods. The decreases in milk yield already commence at an air temperature equal to 20°C and also depend on the dairy cattle sensitivity. July and August, with a high number of hot days, caused that in September the cows responded faster to a worsening of thermal conditions and the decline in milking performance happened almost simultaneously with the air temperature change, at milking yield recovery after the period of 3-4 d (r=-0.84, P<0.04). The percent duration in the individual temperature ranges which caused a decrease of milk yield was also determined. In June, and at the beginning of July, this was 90% of the time with temperatures above 20°C, and simultaneously 45% above 25°C occurred to milking performance decrease (r=-0.89, P<0.02). In September, this was only 30% of the time with temperatures above 20°C (r=-0.91, P<0.01).

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Annals of Animal Science

The Journal of National Research Institute of Animal Production

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