See the second set of results of research on mitigating heat stress in Florida cattle using nutrition and management techniques.

As shared in the previous bog, Part 1, heat stress in Florida cattle is a big concern for ranchers for two related reasons. First, it affects metabolism, growth, reproduction, health, and welfare; and second, Florida’s average thermal-humidity index (THI) values are often in the ‘severe heat stress’ levels for many hours a day, and this lasts from June to October. A UF/IFAS South Florida Beef-Forage Program article shared results of research aimed at mitigating heat stress using nutrition and management. Explore the details below.

Heat Stress in Florida Cattle and Artificial Shade

An experiment at the Range Cattle REC in Ona. It looked at the effects of access to artificial shade in the form of canopies on metal frames. The study concluded that “Access to artificial shade reduced intravaginal temperature by 0.5°C and increased body weight gain by 0.5 lb/day of grazing Brangus beef heifers compared to no access to artificial shade.”

Heat Stress in Florida Cattle and Immunomodulatory Supplement

An experiment combining artificial shade and an immunomodulatory supplement, OmniGen-AF, was also conducted to see the effects on heifer health. The article maintained that, “Contrary to what we expected, the addition of OmniGen-AF slightly increased intravaginal temperatures of heifers and reduced body condition score at the start of the calving season compared to no supplementation of OmniGen.”

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