1. bookVolume 21 (2021): Issue 4 (October 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Heat Load-Induced Changes in Lying Behavior and Lying Cubicle Occupancy of Lactating Dairy Cows in a Naturally Ventilated Barn

Published Online: 28 Oct 2021
Page range: 1543 - 1553
Received: 10 Mar 2020
Accepted: 17 Nov 2020
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Dairy cows show a high sensitivity to changes in barn climate, which can result in physiological and ethological responses because of the homeostatic mechanisms to regulate the body temperature under heat load. The objective of this study was to analyze the lying behavior and occupancy of lying cubicles of lactating high-yielding Holstein-Friesian cows throughout the day during three summer months and three winter months. The study was conducted in summer 2016 and in winter 2016/17 in a naturally ventilated barn in Brandenburg, Germany. The determined temperaturehumidity index (THI) of the barn was calculated using the measured ambient temperature and relative humidity at eight locations inside the barn. The THI was used to define the heat load the cows were exposed to. The activity of the cows was measured with accelerometers, and a video recording was made to analyze the occupancy of the three rows of lying cubicles. The results indicated that increasing heat load led to a decrease in lying time; therefore, the daily lying time differed between summer and winter months. In addition, there were different patterns of lying behavior during the course of the day, depending on the season. A sharp decline in lying time could be observed especially in the afternoon hours during the summer. The occupancy of lying cubicles was also influenced by the heat load. The data could be helpful to enable evaluation with algorithms for early detection of heat load.

Keywords

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