DOI: /10.5513/JCEA01/14.3.1310

Original scientific paper

IMPACT OF THE LOCATION OF THE DAIRY COWS IN THE BARN ON THEIR BODY SURFACE TEMPERATURE

2013, 14 (3)   p. 1081-1090

Martin Šlachta

Abstract

The objective of the study was to determine skin surface temperature of dairy cows housed in tie stalls, according to their location in the barn. A total of 52 healthy cows were investigated, 31 of which were kept in “cold” stalls by the entrance to the barn and 21 in “warm” stalls located in the centre of the barn. Skin surface temperature was measured in 8 different body parts using a non-contact thermometer (Fluke 572 pyrometer). The results showed that skin temperature of the cows varied according to their location. It was significantly lower in the cows housed in “cold” stalls compared to those kept in “warm” stalls (P < 0.05). The difference was particularly evident for the udder, reaching 1.1C (P < 0.01). Skin temperature of the cows varied between different measurement points. In both “cold” and “warm” stalls, skin temperature was highest on the udder and lowest at the hock joint (P < 0.01). Time of day and air temperature outside the barn had a highly significant effect on the skin temperature of the cows. The lower the air temperature was, the lower was the skin temperature at all points of measurement (P < 0.01). It was found that the skin surface of housed cows subjected to increased air movement is at a greater risk of becoming hypothermic.

Keywords

body surface temperature, dairy cows, housing system, welfare

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