Summer heat: not everyone’s cup of tea

Be it the Summer Olympics, football’s World Cup or the Tour de France, all top athletes have strategies in place to perform optimally, even at high temperatures. This is no different for livestock. In their own way, dairy cows are just like professional athletes: they have to use their energy selectively to achieve the best milk yield.

They are most comfortable at temperatures of up to about 16°C. Anything above that, and they increase their respiration rate and sweat to dissipate heat through evaporation. Even at these temperatures, their energy consumption increases noticeably, they eat less and drink more. The risk of chronic inflammation increases and their well-being suffers. But once the thermometer finally hits temperatures humans consider ideal for swimming and sun-bathing, dairy cows experience some serious stress.

Livestock farmers usually apply countermeasures such as ventilating the barn, ensuring enough water is available, cooling the water on hot days and insulating the roof of the barn. Feed provides another significant contribution: the right additives can help reduce animal stress. Dr. Eckel’s Anta®Ox FlavoSyn, for example, is a flavouring feed additive that is entirely of vegetable origin. It promotes the cows’ energy supply, providing them with better protection against inflammation and reducing their stress.

Improving animal welfare is highly complex, and can only be achieved in a combined approach. The feed is a critical element. So it all starts with the feed.