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Initiative 59

Reducing heat load on cattle in Feedlots

Excessive heat load (EHL), or heat stress, describes the situation where lotfed livestock, primarily cattle, are not able to dissipate body heat effectively and their body temperature rises above normal. This project will evaluate options for mitigating heat load in feedlot cattle including the relationship between weather conditions, body temperature and feed intake during summer, and especially nightime intake, as a basis for developing feeding strategies that encourage heat dissipation at night. The second part of the project will examine the use of straw bedding as a means of reducing heat load on cattle during periods of hot, dry weather conditions.

What are we doing?

Outcomes from the study will be practical measures that all feedlot operators can readily employ to reduce heat load on feedlot cattle during summer. The project will generate the scientific basis for their inclusion in the Feedlot Risk Analysis Program, which is used by feedlot operators to evaluate actions and measures that can be utilised to ameliorate heat load.

Timing:

December 2015

Who's helping: