The main objective of this study was to identify the influences of different climatic conditions and cow-related factors on the respiration rate (RR) of lactating dairy cows. Measurements were performed on 84 lactating Holstein Friesian dairy cows (first to eighth lactation) in Brandenburg, Germany. The RR was measured hourly or twice a day with up to three randomly chosen measurement days per week between 0700 h and 1500 h (GMT + 0100 h) by counting right thoraco-abdominal movements of the cows. Simultaneously with RR measurements, cow body postures (standing vs. lying) were documented. Cows’ milk yield and days in milk were recorded daily. The ambient temperature and relative humidity of the barn were recorded every 5 min to calculate the current temperature-humidity index (THI). The data were analyzed for interactions between THI and cow-related factors (body postures and daily milk yield) on RR using a repeated measurement linear mixed model. There was a significant effect of the interaction between current THI category and body postures on RR. The RRs of cows in lying posture in the THI < 68, 68 ≤ THI < 72 and 72 ≤ THI < 80 categories (37, 46 and 53 breaths per minute (bpm), respectively) were greater than those of standing cows in the same THI categories (30, 38 and 45 bpm, respectively). For each additional kilogram of milk produced daily, an increase of 0.23±0.19 bpm in RR was observed. Including cow-related factors may help to prevent uncertainties of RR in heat stress predictions. In practical application, these factors should be included when predicting RR to evaluate heat stress on dairy farms.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Acatincăi S., Gavojdian D., Stanciu G., Cziszter L.T., Tripon I., Baul S. (2010). Study regarding rumination behavior in cattle – position adopted by cows during rumination process. Sci. Pap. Anim. Sci. Biotechnol., 43: 199–202.
Aharoni Y., Brosh A., Harari Y. (2005). Night feeding for high-yielding dairy cows in hot weather: effects on intake, milk yield and energy expenditure. Livest. Prod. Sci., 92: 207–219.
Angrecka S., Herbut P. (2017). Eligibility of lying boxes at different THI levels in a freestall barn. Ann. Anim. Sci., 17: 257–269.
Armstrong D.V. (1994). Heat stress interaction with shade and cooling. J. Dairy Sci., 77: 2044–2050.
Berman A. (2003). Effects of body surface area estimates on predicted energy requirements and heat stress. J. Dairy Sci., 86: 3605–3610.
Berman A. (2005). Estimates of heat stress relief needs for Holstein dairy cows. J. Anim. Sci., 83: 1377–1384.
Brown-Brandl T.M., Eigenberg R.A., Nienaber J.A., Hahn G.L. (2005). Dynamic response indicators of heat stress in shaded and non-shaded feedlot cattle, Part 1: Analyses of indicators. Biosys. Eng., 90: 451–462.
Bryant J.R., Lopez-Villalobos N., Pryce J.E., Holmes C.W., Johnson D.L., Gar-rick D.J. (2007). Environmental sensitivity in New Zealand dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci., 90: 1538–1547.
Chen J.M., Schutz K.E., Tucker C.B. (2015). Cooling cows efficiently with sprinklers: Physiological responses to water spray. J. Dairy Sci., 98: 6925–6938.
Costa A.N., Feitosa J.V., Junior P.A., de Souza P.T., de Araujo A.A. (2015 a). Hormonal profiles, physiological parameters, and productive and reproductive performances of Girolando cows in the state of Ceara-Brazil. Int. J. Biometeorol., 59: 231–236.
Costa A.N., Feitosa J.V., Montezuma P.A.Jr., de Souza P.T., de Araujo A.A. (2015 b). Rectal temperatures, respiratory rates, production, and reproduction performances of cross-bred Girolando cows under heat stress in northeastern Brazil. Int. J. Biometeorol., 59: 1647–1653.
Dikmen S., Hansen P.J. (2009). Is the temperature-humidity index the best indicator of heat stress in lactating dairy cows in a subtropical environment? J. Dairy Sci., 92: 109–116.
Ferrazza R.D., Garcia H.D.M., Aristizabal V.H.V., Nogueira C.D., Verissimo C.J., Sartori J.R., Sartori R., Ferreir J.C.P. (2017). Thermoregulatory responses of Holstein cows exposed to experimentally induced heat stress. J. Therm. Biol., 66: 68–80.
Frazzi E., Calamari L., Calegari F., Stefanini L. (2000). Behavior of dairy cows in response to different barn cooling systems. T. Asae, 43: 387–394.
Garner J.B., Douglas M., Williams S.R.O., Wales W.J., Marett L.C., Di Giacomo K., Leury B.J., Hayes B.J. (2017). Responses of dairy cows to short-term heat stress in controlled-climate chambers. Anim. Prod. Sci., 57: 1233–1241.
Gaughan J.B., Holt S.M., Hahn G.L., Mader T.L., Eigenberg R. (2000). Respiration rate – is it a good measure of heat stress in cattle? Asian Austral. J. Anim., 13: 329–332.
Gauly M., Bollwein H., Breves G., Brugemann K., Danicke S., Das G., Deme-ler J., Hansen H., Isselstein J., Konig S., Loholter M., Martinsohn M., Me-yer U., Potthoff M., Sanker C., Schroder B., Wrage N., Meibaum B., von Sam-son-Himmelstjerna G., Stinshoff H., Wrenzycki C. (2013). Future consequences and challenges for dairy cow production systems arising from climate change in Central Europe – a review. Animal, 7: 843–859.
Hahn G.L. (1999). Dynamic responses of cattle to thermal heat loads. J. Anim. Sci., 77: 10–20.
Heinicke J., Hoffmann G., Ammon C., Amon B., Amon T. (2018). Effects of the daily heat load duration exceeding determined heat load thresholds on activity traits of lactating dairy cows. J. Therm. Biol., 77: 67–74.
Hempel S., König M., Menz C., Janke D., Amon B., Banhazi T.M., Estellés F., Amon T. (2018). Uncertainty in the measurement of indoor temperature and humidity in naturally ventilated dairy buildings as influenced by measurement technique and data variability. Biosyst. Eng., 166: 58–75.
Herbut P., Angrecka S. (2013). Forecasting heat stress in dairy cattle in selected barn zones with the help of THI and THIadj indexes. Ann. Anim. Sci., 13: 837–848.
Herbut P., Angrecka S. (2018 a). Relationship between THI level and dairy cows’ behaviour during summer period. Ita. J. Ani. Sci., 17: 226–233.
Herbut P., Angrecka S. (2018 b). The effect of heat stress on time spent lying by cows in a housing system. Ann. Anim. Sci., 18: 825–833.
Herbut P., Angrecka S., Nawalany G., Adamczyk K. (2015). Spatial and temporal distribution of temperature, relative humidity and air velocity in a parallel milking parlour during summer period. Ann. Anim. Sci., 15: 517–526.
Jackson P., Cockcroft P. (2008). Clinical Examination of Farm Animals. Wiley-Blackwell, 320 pp.
Kabuga J.D. (1992). The influence of thermal conditions on rectal temperature, respiration rate and pulse rate of lactating Holstein-Friesian cows in the humid tropics. Int. J. Biometeorol., 36: 146–150.
Kadzere C.T., Murphy M.R., Silanikove N., Maltz E. (2002). Heat stress in lactating dairy cows: a review. Livest. Prod. Sci., 77: 59–91.
Kendall P.E., Verkerk G.A., Webster J.R., Tucker C.B. (2007). Sprinklers and shade cool cows and reduce insect-avoidance behavior in pasture-based dairy systems. J. Dairy Sci., 90: 3671–3680.
Legates J.E., Farthing B.R., Casady R.B., Barrada M.S. (1991). Body temperature and respiratory rate of lactating dairy cattle under field and chamber conditions. J. Dairy Sci., 74: 2491–2500.
Moallem U., Altmark G., Lehrer H., Arieli A. (2010). Performance of high-yielding dairy cows supplemented with fat or concentrate under hot and humid climates. J. Dairy Sci., 93: 3192–3202.
NRC(1971). A guide to environmental research on animals. Nat. Acad. Sci., Washington, DC.
Ominski K.H., Kennedy A.D., Wittenberg K.M., Nia S.A.M. (2002). Physiological and production responses to feeding schedule in lactating dairy cows exposed to short-term, moderate heat stress. J. Dairy Sci., 85: 730–737.
Reece W.O., Rowe E.W. (2017). Functional anatomy and physiology of domestic animals. New Jersey, USA, Wiley-Blackwell, 5th ed., 576 pp.
Rosenberger G. (1990). Clinical examination of cattle (Die klinische Untersuchung des Rindes). Berlin, Germany, Parey, 3rd ed., 718 pp.
Santos J.E.P., Overton M.W. (2001). Diet, feeding practices and housing can reduce lameness in dairy cattle. Proc. Intermountain Nutrition Conference, Utah, USA, pp. 145–161.
Santos S.G., Saraiva E.P., Pimenta Filho E.C., Gonzaga Neto S., Fonsêca V.F., Pinheiro A.D., Almeida M.E., de Amorim M.L. (2017). The use of simple physiological and environmental measures to estimate the latent heat transfer in crossbred Holstein cows. Int. J. Biometeorol., 61: 217–225.
Schueller L.K., Burfeind O., Heuwieser W. (2014). Impact of heat stress on conception rate of dairy cows in the moderate climate considering different temperature-humidity index thresholds, periods relative to breeding, and heat load indices. Theriogenology, 81: 1050–1057.
Schutz K.E., Rogers A.R., Poulouin Y.A., Cox N.R., Tucker C.B. (2010). The amount of shade influences the behavior and physiology of dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci., 93: 125–133.
Soriani N., Panella G., Calamari L. (2013). Rumination time during the summer season and its relationships with metabolic conditions and milk production. J. Dairy Sci., 96: 5082–5094.
Spiers D.E., Spain J.N., Sampson J.D., Rhoads R.P. (2004). Use of physiological parameters to predict milk yield and feed intake in heat-stressed dairy cows. J. Therm. Biol., 29: 759–764.
Stevens D.G. (1981). A model of respiratory vapor loss in Holstein dairy cattle. Trans. ASAE, 24: 151–158.
Tucker C.B., Rogers A.R., Schutz K.E. (2008). Effect of solar radiation on dairy cattle behaviour, use of shade and body temperature in a pasture-based system. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 109: 141–154.
Wang X.S., Zhang G.Q., Choi C.Y. (2018). Effect of airflow speed and direction on convective heat transfer of standing and reclining cows. Biosyst. Eng., 167: 87–98.
West J.W. (2003). Effects of heat-stress on production in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci., 86: 2131–2144.
Zimbelman R.B., Collier R.J. (2011). Feeding strategies for high-producing dairy cows during periods of elevated heat and humidity. Proc. Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, Fort Wayne, IN, pp. 111–125.