Beef Species Symposium II: Handling Heat Stress in Beef Cattle Production - Sponsored by ARPAS
Heat stress can and always will be an issue in the feedlot industry. Heat stress can decrease performance in feedlot animals leading to substantial economic losses. High environmental temperatures, relative humidity, solar radiation, and low wind speeds can be life-threatening to beef cattle when these conditions occur simultaneously. Management strategies to decrease or alleviate heat stress-related production losses have been a focus of research for a long period of time. There is a plethora of research completed on the additions of shades, sprinklers, air circulation of covered pens, as well as the physiological changes cattle experience. The physiological discoveries have revealed a lot about how the animal copes with certain stressors and has aided in potential mitigation strategies. The use of sprinklers and shades are the most popular additions to feedlots; however, certain nutritional management strategies and breed selection can be viable options as well. My objective to address those management strategies were to compile and review past research that specifically addresses bunk management, diet formulation, feeding strategies, and breed characteristics as well as incorporate current information available on the cattle we feed today.