A software to estimate heat stress impact on dairy cattle productive performance
Teles Jr., C.G.S.
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The aim of this study is to develop a computational tool, based on the Temperature and Humidity Index value, to characterize the thermal environment in dairy cattle barns and to evaluate the impact of thermal stress on productive performance. The software for the thermal environment prediction, and determination of the influence of heat stress on dairy cow productivity (Ambi + Leite) was developed using the C# programming language in the Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express Integrated Development Environment. The following scenario was considered for the program test: air temperature 32°C, relative air humidity 70% and milk production potential in thermoneutrality condition 20 kg cow-1 day-1 . The prediction of the thermal environment based on the simulated situations indicates that the animals are submitted to a moderate heat stress condition with THI equal to 82.81. In this condition a decrease of approximately 26% in milk production and a reduction of 4 kg cow-1 day-1 in food intake was calculated. In conclusion, the developed software can be a practical tool to assist the producer in making-decision processes.