Ark Veterinary Centre

Heat Stress

Jul 13, 2019
Heat Stress

Despite the last few weeks of rain, summer is here and we’re constantly hopeful that a heatwave is right around the corner. But remember, with the good weather comes the increased risk of heat stress. 

The upper critical temperature for cattle is 25°C and for shorn sheep 29°C  Grazing animals with no access to shade or shelter are at higher risk  High humidity and temperatures combined with poor air flow increase the risk of heat stress in housed animals  Animals become lethargic, pant, stand with their heads bowed, and cows often move closer together and stand in tightly packed groups  The consequences of heat stress include reductions in feed intake, dropped milk yield, poor fertility and increased risk of other diseases such as mastitis   Combat heat stress by providing areas of shade, ensuring sheds are adequately ventilated and allowing constant access to plenty of fresh water.