Swich to desktop website

Heat stress

Heat stress

When temperatures run high, animals in the livestock farm often deal with heat stress. The animals can then no longer keep their body temperature under control. This has adverse effects on the health of the animal by which their resistance goes down, and this reduces their growth. It is, therefore, necessary to timely take appropriate measures to avoid heat stress in pigs, cattle, poultry, and goats.

Heat stress - Pigs

Heat stress is a problem that occurs when the temperature becomes so high that a pig is no longer capable of maintaining its own body temperature. Other factors, such as humidity and temperature of the stable have an impact as well. Heat stress will cause the health of the pig to deteriorate, which lowers its immune defences and decreases its growth. Therefore it is necessary to be prepared to promptly adjust temperatures when it becomes too hot. MS Schippers offers the building blocks to support your animals during periods of heat stress.

General advice

A proper climate in the stable is essential to manage heat stress appropriately; be sure to choose a stable that is well-ventilated as ventilation is extremely important. Fresh, cool air ensures that the temperature in the stable remains desirable. Fans could potentially be placed to aid in this. The availability of sufficient, cool drinking water (10 to 15°C) is of vital importance. Water keeps the animals cool and they all must have unlimited access to it. Be sure that all drinking locations have sufficient water and that the nipples are yielding the necessary amount. Finally, adjusting the feeding times can have a positive effect: when feed is digested, a good deal of heat is released, so feeding the animals at cooler times of day will increase their food intake. This keeps the food fresh for longer and germs cannot spread as quickly.

Heat stress in sows

Higher temperatures cause decreased appetite, so a sow will be nutritionally deprived. This leads to loss of condition, which in turn leads to decreased fertility and diminished milk production. The lack of milk delays the growth of piglets. Providing the sow with enough cool drinking water during warm periods has a positive effect on both feed and water intake, expected milk production, and body temperature as well as the average weaning weight and growth of the piglets (source: GD Animal health). Additionally, nutritional supplements can be added to aid the sow’s fertility (MS Piglet Boost).

Heat stress in piglets and fatteners

Piglets and fatteners also experience much difficulty and stress in warm periods; the heat decreases feed intake and the pigs receive too little nutrients. This results in poor growth and will cause the feed-to-gain ratio to increase. Lowering the number of stable occupants, enough cool drinking water, and spraying down the stalls will ensure that the pigs are less affected by the heat. Additionally, Vitamin C can be added as a supplement: it is an anti-stress vitamin and will positively influence the condition of the pig (MS C Liquid).

Heat stress in boars

During warm periods, the sperm quality of a boar will decrease. This occurs not only during the warm period, but the boar will also suffer from heat-related problems in the following weeks and the quality will remain poor. By adding extra nutrients to his diet, the boar can be supported during these periods and the sperm quality will be maintained (MS Extase Complete).

Fans

Fans can be provided for good air circulation; this will keep the temperature of the stable in check and limit the degree of warmth. The location, size, and number of fans is essential for proper results. Please contact us for a personal consultation!

Heat stress - Cattle

Heat stress is a problem that occurs when the temperature becomes so high that a cow is no longer capable of maintaining its own body temperature. The ideal temperature for a dairy cow is between -5 and 18°C and if that is exceeded the cow will exhibit decreased activity. The cow will sweat and cough to disperse heat. The cow will consume less food and move less in order to limit heat production. Ultimately, this leads to decreased body weight and diminished milk production

General Advice

Proper stable management is of crucial importance to properly combat heat stress. Proper climate in the stable and access to drinking water are essential for supporting animals during periods of increased temperature. MS Schippers offers the building blocks for supporting animals during periods of heat stress.

Drinking water

The availability of sufficient, cool drinking water (10 to 15°C) is of vital importance. Water keeps the animals cool and they all must have unlimited access to it. Be sure that all drinking locations have sufficient water and that the nipples are yielding the necessary amount. For the stable, we recommend 1 drinking trough (more than 20 litres per minute) for every fifteen cows or one stock tank (of more than 50 litres and more than 30 litres per minute) for every twenty cows at the minimum. Also, make sure that the cows have access to enough water during or directly after milking.

Feed management

Adjusting the feeding times can have a positive effect on the cow: when feed is digested, a good deal of heat is released, so feeding the animals at cooler times of day will increase their food intake. This keeps the food fresh for longer and less fermentation will occur. A preservative can also be used to prevent fermentation in the feed alley (MS Wetfeed DF).

Fans

Fans can be provided for good air circulation in a cattle stable; this will keep the temperature of the stable in check and limit the effect of warmth on the cow. The location, size, and number of fans is essential for proper results. Please contact us for a personal consultation!

Bedding hygiene

Germs develop more quickly in warm weather; this results in a higher than normal chance of infection in the stalls. Therefore, it is important to keep the stalls clean and dry in order to minimise the risk of infection. In addition to the regular replacement of the straw bedding, sanitary powders can be used to keep the stalls dry (MS DryCare).

Rumen acidosis

Heat stress causes cattle to eat less raw feed. They rest less frequently, which results in less rumination; this is how the possibility of rumen acidosis arises. To reduce the risk of rumen acidosis, a buffer can be used to keep the acid levels of the rumen in check (MS Rumen Support).

Lameness

When a cow is overcome by the heat, it will lie down less because it can cool off better when upright. This causes the claws to be overloaded, which increases the risk of claw issues. By sufficiently ventilating the stable and providing access to water, the risk of lameness is decreased.

Heat stress in calves

Calves can also suffer negative effects at the hands of high temperatures. A decrease in feed intake and an increase in energy use for the cooling process cause their conditions to deteriorate and stunts growth. Adding vitamin C to their diet will aid their immune systems and up their feed intake (MS C Liquid).

Heat stress - Poultry

Heat stress in chickens occurs during warm temperatures (>25°C) in conjunction with high humidity. Chickens cannot sweat and can only release a small amount of heat through their airways, so they are very sensitive to high temperatures. The heat decreases feed intake; broiler chickens grow more slowly and hens lay fewer eggs of lower quality. Lowered immunity and even increased feather loss are also associated negative effects. To prevent the effects of heat stress on poultry, the proper measures must be taken: MS Schippers offers the building blocks for supporting animals during times of heat stress.

General Advice

Proper stable management is of crucial importance to properly combat heat stress. Proper climate in the stable and access to drinking water are essential for supporting animals during periods of increased temperature. Proper occupancy levels of the stables can also help, so that all animals have enough space.

Ventilation

Sufficient ventilation capacity makes it possible to keep the temperature in the stable in check, which minimises the effects of heat. Always make sure there is enough available space between the animals in the stable and that everything is in working order.

Water

Clean, fresh, and cool drinking water is crucial during times of heat stress. All animals must have continuous access to a sufficient supply of water. Additionally, drinking water is important for providing extra nutrients to the animals that they would normally receive by eating the feed. (MS Vitamin Surge + MS Microplus Extra).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is extremely important for various metabolic processes. It supports feed intake, retains moisture, and reduces the stress level of the chickens. This relaxes the chickens, which generates less heat for them to be bothered by (MS C Liquid).

Moisture balance

Chickens lose a good deal of moisture because of the heat and they lose salt along with it, which results in a moisture deficiency. Providing extra electrolytes (salts) via the drinking water ensures that the moisture balance of the chickens is repaired (MS Freshmix). This prevents dehydration and subsequent death that can accompany the heat.

Vitamins and minerals

Less feed intake results in less intake of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good growth and production. This can be offset by adding these nutrients back into the drinking water. Since the chickens will be drinking more, they can reabsorb the right amount of vitamins and minerals (MS Vitamin Surge & MS Microplus).

Feed management

Feeding the broilers and laying hens at cooler times of day is preferable. This can increase feed intake because the animals are less bothered by the heat. It is possible to support this by adjusting the lighting schedule in the stable.

Hygiene

Germs develop more quickly at higher temperatures, so it is important to keep the stable as dry as possible. This can be achieved by using extra straw bedding or by adding a sanitary powder to the floor of the stable in order to keep it as dry as possible (MS DryCare).

Heat Stress - Goats

Heat stress is a problem that occurs when the temperature and humidity become so high that a goat is no longer able to maintain its own body temperature. At temperatures beyond 25°C, a goat will have trouble with the heat and it will breathe more rapidly to lose as much heat as possible. The more milk it produces, the faster the goat will find the heat problematic; increased feed intake quickly leads to increased body temperature. A consequence of this increased internal temperature is that the goat eats less dry foodstuffs, which can lead to diminished output and rumen acidosis.

General Advice

Proper stable management is of crucial importance to combat heat stress. The right climate in the stable and access to drinking water are essential for supporting animals during periods of increased temperature. MS Schippers offers the building blocks for supporting animals during periods of heat stress.

Drinking water

Fresh, cool drinking water (10 to 15°C) must be continuously made available to all animals in sufficient quantities. Water helps cool the goat off and works against the symptoms of dehydration. Be sure that there are enough drinking locations and that the nipples are yielding sufficient amounts. When necessary, provide additional drinking water tanks to anticipate the needs of the animals.

Fans

Extra cooling from fans will make for a more pleasant climate for the goats. Air circulation moves out warm air and decreases the temperature. Sprinklers and misters can also be added for some additional cooling. The location, size, and number of fans is essential for proper results. Please contact us for a personal consultation!

Feed management

Feeding the animals at cooler times of day (mornings and evenings) will result in increased feed intake, which has a positive effect on animal health and milk production. Adding a little extra energy to the feed (MS KetoProtect Goat) can also be beneficial. To prevent fermentation in the feed, a preservative can be mixed into the feed cart (MS Wetfeed DF). This keeps the feed fresher and maintains flavour.

Rumen acidosis

At high temperatures, goats eat less raw feed, breath more rapidly, and ruminate for shorter periods. This can increase the chance of acidification of the rumen. This risk can be reduced by increasing the buffer capacity of the rumen, which will level out its acidity. MS Rumen support can be used for this.

Any questions?

We are pleased to contact you!

Schippers uses cookies. If you use our site, you agree with the placement of Cookies.

Please enable cookies.

Attention: There might be a javascript error

Possibly some functionalities are blocked in your browser and are not working properly.

Causes may be an outdated browser, or if you are using the browser in private / incognito mode.