Journal article

Heat Stress Impacts on Lactating Cows Grazing Australian Summer Pastures on an Automatic Robotic Dairy

Richard Osei-Amponsah, Frank R Dunshea, Brian J Leury, Long Cheng, Brendan Cullen, Aleena Joy, Archana Abhijith, Michael H Zhang, Surinder S Chauhan

Animals | MDPI | Published : 2020


The objective of this study was to measure the impacts of summer heat events on physiological parameters (body temperature, respiratory rate and panting scores), grazing behaviour and production parameters of lactating Holstein Friesian cows managed on an Automated Robotic Dairy during Australian summer. The severity of heat stress was measured using Temperature-Humidity Index (THI) and impacts of different THIs-low (≤72), moderate (73-82) and high (≥83)-on physiological responses and production performance were measured. There was a highly significant (p ≤ 0.01) effect of THI on respiratory rate (66.7, 84.7 and 109.1/min), panting scores (1.4, 1.9 and 2.3) and average body temperature of co..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Government of Australia under the Australia Awards Africa Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded to R.O.-A. to work with S.S.C. at the Dookie Campus, The University of Melbourne, Australia.