Identifying Thresholds of Heat Stress of Dairy Cows - OptiBarn

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Woutine Pauw
Email: [email protected]
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim e.V.
Department of Livestock Engineering
Project title: Identifying Thresholds of Heat Stress of Dairy Cows in Naturally Ventilated
Barns in different Climate Extremes
Supervisors: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Amon, Prof. Thomas Banhazi
Project description:
The climatic environment of dairy cows influences their welfare. If welfare is significantly
impaired, the milk production of the animal is reduced. From ethical as well as from
economic perspective it is evident to ensure climate conditions within the cow
comfortable zone. To design optimal climate control for dairy barns, animal preferences
should be further investigated.
Under hot environmental conditions, cows might react by an increased heart frequency,
respiration frequency, heat distribution and body temperature and by decreased activity.
Goal is to define the exact conditions under which dairy cows get into heat stress. To
achieve this goal, a large dataset is created on basis of experiments, to analyze the
relationship between weather data (such as temperature, humidity and wind speed) with
animal data (such as age and milk yield). Indicators tested are various, ranging from
heart and respiration frequency, to heart variability, activity and heat radiation. First step
is to recognize the physical and behavioral reaction of dairy cows to heat stress; second
step is to test the individual sensitivity of cows to environmental conditions.
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