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Animals 2018, 8(11), 194;

Impact of Observed and Controlled Water Intake on Reticulorumen Temperature in Lactating Dairy Cattle

Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
Cow Focused Housing, Bardstown, KY 40004, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
Full-Text   |   PDF [530 KB, uploaded 2 November 2018]   |  

Simple Summary

Precision technologies are often integrated on dairy farms to monitor individual animal health. One precision technology used is a bolus that is inserted into a cows’ reticulorumen to monitor reticulorumen temperature. Although it is known that both water temperature and water quantity ingested are associated with changes in reticulorumen temperature, limited quantifiable research exists on the impact and magnitude of controlled water intake on reticulorumen temperature. We conducted an observational study to determine the effect of natural water ingestion on reticulorumen temperature, and performed a modified Latin square where cows were drenched with specific water quantities at specific temperatures to determine the effect of controlled water intake on reticuloruminal temperature. Our results demonstrated that water quantity and water temperature affect not only the magnitude of change in degrees in Celsius, but also how much time is required for reticulorumen temperature to return to baseline. This study provides insights in how to adjust the temperatures measures affected by water intake when using cattle reticulorumen temperature monitoring systems and how to estimate water consumption using decreases in reticulorumen temperature.


Dairy precision technologies helps producers monitor individual animals. Reticulorumen temperature boluses are a way to monitor core body temperature; however, factors such as water intake affects reticulorumen temperature. This research determined the effect of natural water intake and a controlled water drench on reticulorumen temperature (RT) in dairy cattle. In observational study part 1, tie- stall cows (n = 4) with RT transponders were observed for natural water intake (recorded by in line water meters) for 48 h. In experiment part 2, a randomized Latin square design with cows (n = 12) restricted on feed for 4 h, were drenched daily with a water quantity of 6.7 L, 11.4 L or 22.7 L, and at controlled water temperature of 1.7 °C, 7.2 °C, 15.5 °C, or 29.4 °C. Descriptively, observational study 1 had (Mean ± SD 0.27 ± 0.31 L ingested per drinking event (n = 84) and RT decline from baseline was 2.29 ± 1.82 °C. For the experiment, a 48-h specific rolling baseline temperature range (BTR) was calculated for each cow prior to the experiment to determine time required for RT to reach BTR, and time to return to BTR. In part 2 of the experiment, as water quantity increased, RT had a greater maximum degree drop from baseline. Water temperature and water quantity interaction influenced time required for BTR to reestablish. The coldest water temperature at the highest drench quantity affected time for BTR to reestablish the longest (103 min). Results from this study suggest that an algorithm could be designed to predict water intake events for producers using reticulorumen temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperature; reticulorumen; water intake; dairy cattle; precision dairy technology temperature; reticulorumen; water intake; dairy cattle; precision dairy technology

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Cantor, M.C.; Costa, J.H.C.; Bewley, J.M. Impact of Observed and Controlled Water Intake on Reticulorumen Temperature in Lactating Dairy Cattle. Animals 2018, 8, 194.

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