Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/1873
Title: Seasonal pattern of mortality and relationships between mortality and temperature-humidity index in dairy cows
Authors: Vitali, Andrea
Segnalini, Maria
Bertocchi, Luigi
Bernabucci, Umberto
Nardone, Alessandro
Lacetera, Nicola
Keywords: Dairy cow;Vacca da latte;Mortality;Mortalità;Season;Stagione;Temperature-humidity index;Indice temperatura-umidità
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: American Dairy Science Association
Source: Vitali, A. et al. 2009. Seasonal pattern of mortality and relationships between mortality and temperature-humidity index in dairy cows. "Journal of Dairy Science" 92 (8): 3781-3790
Abstract: 
The 2 studies described investigated seasonal variations of mortality and temperature-humidity index
(THI)–mortality relationships in dairy cows. Mortality data were extracted from the Italian Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy databases, which contain records on cows older than 24 mo that died on a farm from all
causes (98% of total records), were slaughtered in an emergency state, or were sent for normal slaughter but were sick in the preslaughter inspection (2% of total
records). Both studies evaluated mortality data during a 6-yr period (2002 to 2007). The seasonal pattern study was conducted throughout Italy and was based on 320,120 deaths. An association between season and
deaths was found for all 6 yr. Summer and spring were the seasons with the highest and lowest frequency of deaths (15,773.3 ± 2,861 and 11,619.3 ± 792.3), respectively,
and within summer months, the number of deaths in July and August (5,435 ± 284 and 5,756 ± 676.2, respectively) was higher than in June (4,839 ± 344.8).
The THI–mortality relationships study was carried out only for deaths (51,240) reported for the Lombardia and Emilia Romagna regions. For this study, the mortality databases were integrated with THI data, which were calculated by using data from 73 weather stations.
Each farm where deaths were recorded was assigned the THI values (maximum and minimum) calculated at the closest weather station for each day the events (deaths)
were reported. Analysis of data indicated that approximate THI values of 80 and 70 were the maximum and minimum THI, respectively, above which the number of
deaths in dairy farms starts to increase. Maximum and minimum THI values of 87 and 77 were the upper critical
THI above which the risk of death for dairy cows becomes maximum. This study defined quantitative relationships between mortality risk and THI in dairy cows and may help to provide emergency interventions
and mitigation measures, which may ensure survival of dairy cows and reduce replacement costs associated with heat stress-related mortality.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/1873
ISSN: 0022-0302
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2009-2127
Appears in Collections:DiPA - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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