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Animals 2017, 7(5), 37; doi:10.3390/ani7050037

Practices for Alleviating Heat Stress of Dairy Cows in Humid Continental Climates: A Literature Review

Département des sciences animales, Université Laval, 2425 rue de l’Agriculture, Québec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
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Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
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Abstract

Heat stress negatively affects the health and performance of dairy cows, resulting in considerable economic losses for the industry. In future years, climate change will exacerbate these losses by making the climate warmer. Physical modification of the environment is considered to be the primary means of reducing adverse effects of hot weather conditions. At present, to reduce stressful heat exposure and to cool cows, dairy farms rely on shade screens and various forms of forced convection and evaporative cooling that may include fans and misters, feed-line sprinklers, and tunnel- or cross-ventilated buildings. However, these systems have been mainly tested in subtropical areas and thus their efficiency in humid continental climates, such as in the province of Québec, Canada, is unclear. Therefore, this study reviewed the available cooling applications and assessed their potential for northern regions. Thermal stress indices such as the temperature-humidity index (THI) were used to evaluate the different cooling strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy cows; heat stress; cooling systems; performance; health; temperature-humidity index dairy cows; heat stress; cooling systems; performance; health; temperature-humidity index
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fournel, S.; Ouellet, V.; Charbonneau, É. Practices for Alleviating Heat Stress of Dairy Cows in Humid Continental Climates: A Literature Review. Animals 2017, 7, 37.

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