Blog > July 2018 > Heat Stress in Cattle

Heat Stress in Cattle

July 17, 2018

With temperatures recently reaching high degrees, producers have started the fight of keeping their cattle their cool and maintaining intakes. Conquering the heat is challenging, but when coupled with high humidity, cattle become even more stressed. For example, when the temperature is 86°, and the humidity is 50%, cattle are only mildly stressed, but when the temperature is 95° with 90% humidity, cattle quickly become severely stressed. Periods of heat stress result in reduced body weight, feed intake, and feed conversion. Depending on the length and frequency of heat stress periods, cattle’s dry-matter intake can be reduced by up to 125 pounds during their time in the feed yard, which equals 40 pounds of gain lost per head. In high-risk areas, an average of 4-5 deaths occur for every 1000 head. It is estimated that heat stress-related mortalities and performance reductions add up to $370 million each year.

To help fight heat stress and keep cattle on feed, Purina developed the Supermix Beef Abate product, a pelleted supplement that is designed to maintain intakes during periods of heat stress. It is formulated with Zinpro’s zinc methionine complex to support the immune system by replenishing trace minerals as well as Diamond V’s XPC product that helps support digestive health and allow for improved gain and feed conversion. Yeast products stabilize the rumen environment, and potassium is added to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.

When using the Abate product, 0.25 lb/head/day should be fed for four days. To reach full effectiveness, the product should be fed two days before a heat event, the day of, and one day after. To prepare in advance for hot and humid days, an app called Heat Stress can be downloaded that provides a colorful and interactive map forecasting the level of heat stress for up to five days in advance. This is a great tool that allows producers to prepare ahead of time for a heat event. 

For more information on heat stress and the Abate product, stop by your local Central Valley Ag location!

by Cassidy Curtis
Posted: 7/17/2018 8:47:26 AM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments

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