Indicators of Heat Stress in Shaded and Non-Shaded Feedlot Cattle
ASAE/CSAE Annual International Meeting , 2004
Brown-Brandl, T.M., Eigenberg, R.A., Nienaber, J.A., Hahn, G.L.
Heat stress in feedlot cattle can cause decreases in feed intake and growth, and in
extreme cases may result in death. Providing shade during hot weather has shown inconsistent
results, reducing direct and indirect losses in some areas of the United States, but not in others. The
objectives of this study were to evaluate the dynamic responses of feedlot cattle to environmental
conditions with and without access to shade, and to determine the most appropriate physiological
measurement for monitoring feedlot cattle during hot weather as a guide for improved management.
Eight crossbred steers (initially weighing 294.7±10.8 kg) were randomly assigned to one of eight
individual pens, where one of two treatments were applied: shade access (SA), or no shade access
(NS). Respiration rate (RR), daily feed intake (DFI), and core body temperature (tcore) were collected,
using automated systems during eight periods, for a total of 37 days. The data were analyzed using
four categories of daily maximum Temperature Humidity Index (THI) values (Normal: THImax <74;
Alert: 74< THImax >78; Danger: 79