Heat stress measuring methods in dairy cows


  • Alessandra Aloia Universit√† degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro
  • Aristide Maggiolino University of Bari A. Moro, Bari
  • Lucrezia Forte University of Bari A. Moro, Bari
  • Pasquale De Palo University of Bari A. Moro, Bari




heat stress measurement, dairy cows, non-invasive techniques


The most widely used predictor to assess the incidence of thermal stress in livestock is THI, the temperature humidity index. However, it is an indicator that disregards the individual animal and the specific farm conditions. This review aims to list and summarize other thermal stress predictor factors, by using non-invasive and cost-effective strategies, in particular with the aid of Precision Livestock Farming technologies. When it comes to dairy animals the metabolic load is already increased by milk production, so the effect of heat stress can exacerbate the overall welfare of the cow. Therefore, the animals enact copying mechanisms that may result in physiological, behavioral and productive alterations. Those animal-based parameters can be used as early predictors of heat stress, allowing the farmer to collect real time data and address the condition operating management strategies in order to prevent further detrimental effect on the performance and consequent economic losses.






Research Papers