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Proper Livestock Management During Summer is Important for Production & Health

Stress due to rise in temperature lowers the feed intake, production and reproductive efficiency of dairy animals. Hence their proper management is important to lower economic losses to farmers. These views were expressed by Dr Parkash Singh Brar, Director of Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana.

KJ Staff
Livestock in India
Livestock in India

Stress due to a rise in temperature lowers the feed intake, production, and reproductive efficiency of dairy animals. Hence their proper management is important to lower economic losses to farmers. These views were expressed by Dr. Parkash Singh Brar, Director of Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana.

Adequate housing management, water availability, and alterations in timings of feeding and feed formulation can help to lower the effects of thermal stress. Buffaloes due to their black color and having a sparse number of sweat glands are more prone to heat stress. Depending on the availability of facilities at the farm, buffaloes should be allowed to wallow in ponds or given showers or water splashes three to four times a day.

Ensuring adequate intake of clean fresh drinking water for dairy animals helps to lower the production losses to a great extent. 

Sheds should be well ventilated; the top of the roof should be painted white or covered with thatch. On the boundary of the farm, shady trees should be planted to further cool the premises. In a big commercial farm, the number of animals kept should be as per the space available. 

Higher animal density will lead to more stress. Fans, Coolers,  foggers are quite helpful during and hot days. Dairy animals especially extremely buffaloes show Oestrus/heat signs during early morning or late evening, hence heat detection and inseminations should be done during these cool hours.  

Rise in humidity along with ambient temperature is still more stressful to the animals. With the rise in temperature-humidity index, the production in crossbred cattle, pigs and poultry gets severely affected. It may lead to heat shock if not properly managed hence all preventive measures should be taken well in advance.    

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