Heat stress: A growing problem with serious consequences

Longer summers and ever more days of record temperatures are clearly becoming the rule rather than the exception. And it is precisely high-yielding dairy cows that stand to lose. Why? Because they have a particularly high metabolic rate. Cows consume about 100 watts of energy to produce five litres of milk. This generates heat that cannot be dissipated through breathing or sweating at high outdoor temperatures, so the cows simply overheat. And this starts at temperatures above 20°C.

It is a problem that modern dairy farms have to deal with. Studies show that inflammatory parameters increase by up to 70% in animals experiencing heat stress, which has severe consequences for the cows’ energy balance and performance. Indeed, cows consume about 1 kg more glucose when the immune response had been activated for a period of 12 hours. This is equivalent to the energy required to produce 3.6 kg of milk. In fact, at high temperatures, milk yield decreases by 3 to 4 litres per cow per day, which is inconceivable for efficient production. Presently, the additional costs attributed to heat stress during an average summer already amount to about €50 to €100 per cow. These costs are expected to rise further as a result of climate change. Consequently, efficient strategies to reduce heat stress are absolutely essential.

Anta®Ox FlavoSyn: Reduced inflammation, better performance

The combination of effective sources of flavonoids makes Anta®Ox FlavoSyn particularly efficacious in reducing inflammatory processes, leading to stable milk yield despite the heat. This has been successfully demonstrated in trials. In a trial in Kuwait where cows were subjected to increasing heat stress (a temperature humidity index [THI] from 66 to 88), Anta®Ox FlavoSyn reduced the proportion of animals with elevated inflammatory markers from 45% to only 5%. The proportion of cows with a reduced level of inflammation in the herd simultaneously increased from 55% to 95% (Fig. 1). This despite the fact that outside temperatures of up to 47°C were recorded at the end of the trial.


Fig. 1:  Anta®Ox reduces inflammatory markers despite increasing heat stress

This efficacious anti-inflammatory effect conserves valuable energy, helping to improve milk yield in cows experiencing heat stress. In a long-term study on a German dairy farm during which summer temperatures rose to 40°C, milk yield was on average 1 kg per cow per day higher than in the control period a year earlier, which could be attributed to feeding with Anta®Ox FlavoSyn (Fig. 2). Indeed, even milk quality marginally improved (milk fat: +0.06%; milk protein: +0.01%).

Fig. 2: Anta®Ox improves milk yield despite heat stress

This demonstrates that Anta®Ox FlavoSyn significantly improves the inflammatory status of dairy cows experiencing heat stress while increasing their milk yield, even with varying degrees of heat stress. Therefore, Anta®Ox FlavoSyn is exactly what is needed to effectively counter rising temperatures, making for stress-free, successful summers, even on dairy farms.


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