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J Anim Sci. 2002 Sep;80(9):2373-82.

Feeding strategies for managing heat load in feedlot cattle.

Author information

1
University of Nebraska, Northeast Research and Extension Center, Concord 68728, USA. tmader@unlnotes.unl.edu

Abstract

Eighty-four Bos taurus crossbred steers were used to investigate effects of level and duration of limit-feeding feedlot cattle in a hot environment. Pens (four/treatment) of steers (seven/pen) were fed feedlot finishing diets and randomly assigned to the following treatments: 1) restricted to approximately 75% of feed consumed when offered ad libitum for 21-d duration (RES21); 2) restricted to approximately 75% of ad libitum for 42-d duration (RES42); and 3) feed offered ad libitum (ADLIB). Tympanic temperatures (TT) were measured via thermistors placed in the ear canal and attached to data loggers. Restricting feed intake for both 21- and 42-d reduced tympanic temperature when compared with ADLIB treatment groups under hot environmental conditions. Temperature reductions exceeded 0.5 degrees C (P < 0.05) depending on time of day. The reduced tympanic temperature is likely due to a reduction in metabolic heat load and/or a concurrent reduction in metabolic rate. Within respective periods, no differences (P > 0.05) were found among treatments for panting or bunching score. However, different proportions of cattle were found to be bunching and panting with ADLIB cattle displaying a greater number of bunched steers that were panting when compared with the other groups. When averaged across diet treatments, dark-colored cattle had the greatest percentage of cattle showing moderate to excessive panting, while light-colored cattle displayed the least panting under thermoneutral climatic conditions. Under hot (mean daily temperature-humidity index >74) conditions, dark-colored cattle tended to bunch more (P = 0.073) and pant more (P < 0.01) than light-colored cattle. Mean TT were 0.2 to 0.6 degrees C (P < 0.05) greater for dark- vs light-colored cattle under hot conditions. Limit-feeding feedlot cattle during early summer is a successful tool for enhancing animal comfort by alleviating the combined effects of high climatic and metabolic heat load.

PMID:
12350014
DOI:
10.2527/2002.8092373x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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