Ludhiana: The rising levels of mercury across the nation have brought a lot of challenges for the dairy farmers. They are finding it extremely difficult to maintain their production because in the hot weather conditions, the milk production of livestock animals has reduced to a great extent due to their lower food intake capacity. This leads to heat load inside the stomach and causes severe health issues. The experts of the Livestock Production Management of Veterinary & Animal Sciences University during a special awareness function here in the city on Tuesday discussed these points in details.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr D S Malik, head of the department of livestock production management at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, said proper shelter and housing management, water application, changes in feeding regime and preventive health management are some of the techniques to minimize the effect of thermal stress. Well-ventilated sheds with proper standing and resting spaces must be provided to dairy animals in extreme temperature.
Moreover, the experts also discussed that more shady trees should be planted around the sheds for further cooling. As water is the essential input in summer, special care should be given to this. Water splashing, showering, sprinkling and fogging of water on animals, inside the shed 3-4 times during hottest part of the day (11am to 4pm), again reduce heat load and enhance productivity due to evaporation cooling.
Dr R S Grewal, professor department of animal nutrition advised that “concentrate mixture containing more than 18% digestible protein and 70% energy contents along with palatable, digestible and laxative fodders should be offered to the animals”. “If grazing is practiced, avoid grazing of animals from 10am to 5pm. Dietary mineral and vitamin supplementation should be increased during summer as its excretion under the effect of heat stress increased. Supplementing dietary sodium and potassium increases milk yield during the period of heat stress,” said Grewal.
Veterinary expert Dr L D Singla said, “Proper vaccination schedule must be followed to maintain the health of animals. Ecto-parasites, whose infestation increases during summer, should be controlled properly by using suitable less infectious spray on animals as well as in sheds.”