Animals lose up to 20% capacity to produce milk during summers

May 31, 2019



Karnal: Scientists of National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) have pointed out that the capacity to produce milk in a milch animal reduces by at least 15 to 20 per cent due to rising temperatures. Researchers said that the high yielding cows are more susceptible to heat than low yielders. The ideal environmental condition for dairy animals ranged from 23°C to 30°C. After crossing 40°C, it affects the dairy animals and its milk production.

Director NDRI, R R B Singh said that even as India continues to be the largest milk producer country in the world with the production of 176.3 million tonne milk (2017-18). Haryana produces 9.809 million metric tonnes of milk annually. Similarly, Punjab contributes 11.855 million metric tonnes annually. Milk production may decrease up 15 to 20 percent in cross-breed animals and up 10 to 15 percent in indigenous breeds. So farmers have to take extra care of cross-breed animals.

Studies conducted at NDRI revealed that comfort Temperature Humidity Index (THI) at which milk production does not influence was between 61-72 for Sahiwal cows and 68- 76 for Tharparkar cows. However per unit increase in THI beyond 72 and 76 declines milk production by 406gm and 304gm per day in Sahiwal and Tharparkar cows respectively.

Head-Physiology Division, of NDRI Mahendra Singh stated that Tharparkar cows can withstand rigors of high ambient temperature up to THI 76 in comparison to Sahiwal cows exhibiting a decline in milk yield at THI 73. Milk composition including fat, protein, and lactose showed no significant difference. He said that during the peak of summer between May and June milk production goes down by 12-15 percent and in the rainy season the decline in the yield was at least 20 percent. Mahendra Singh said farmers need to offer fresh water at body temperature at least twice a day.

Limitation of water also reduces the amount of milk produced by an animal in the summer season. He suggested that farmers can provide cooling facilities by installing fan and the cooling can be done during May and June, but fan cooling should be continued to be provided when the rain starts and humidify exceeds in the environment by about 90%. He said that animals should be bathed twice a day. Crossbreed animals and young calves should be given more attention.

  • Access to full website Database is only for our premium members.