Ludhiana 17 June 2020-Rise in environmental temperature puts a great stress on the dairy animals. High temperature lowers the milk production of animals due to lower feed intake and added heat load on the animals. These views were expressed by Dr. Harish Kumar Verma, Director Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana. He said that due to scorching heat, proper shelter and housing management, water application, changes in feeding regime, preventive health management etc. are some of the techniques to minimize the effect of thermal stress. Well ventilated sheds with proper standing and resting space must be provided to dairy animals. Open end of the shed should be covered with thatched bamboo, Jute, Curtains. Sheet roof may be also being covered with thatch or top of the roof may be painted with white and under surface with dark colour. Shady trees should be planted around the sheds especially at the southern wall/boundary for further cooling. As water is the most 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 (11.00 AM to 4.00 PM), again reduces heat load and enhance productivity due to evaporative cooling. These methods are more effective in buffaloes as they are having sparse sweat glands compared to cattle. Animals should be wallowed in clean water ponds during extreme hot weather (between 11 AM to 4PM). Wallowing arrangement should be made at the farm itself as taking the animals to the pond in hot sun, neutralizes beneficial effect of wallowing. On large- commercial dairy farms various cooling devices viz. fans, wet curtain or panels, air cooler or conditioners etc. may be used during extreme hot condition. Provision of ample fresh, cooled potable drinking water (In earthen pitchers commonly used in villages) also helps in reducing the heat load. Shaded water troughs in sufficient numbers should be provided to the animals at convenient place.

Heat detection should be done, 2-3 times when the animals are stress free and relaxing during the early or late hours of the day. Never detect heat when animals are hungry, or under any type of stress.

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. Proportion of green fodder should be increased. Long fodders must be chopped before feeding. If grazing is practiced, avoid grazing of animals from 10 AM to 5 PM. Soaking of concentrate in equal amount water for 20-30 minutes will increase nutrient utilization. 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.

Dr. L.D.Singla, HoD, Veterinary Parasitology informed that proper de-worming and vaccination schedule must be followed for maintaining the health of animal. Ecto-parasites, whose infestation increases during summer, should be controlled properly by using suitable acaricidal spray on animals as well as in shed, especially in corners and crevices.

Bio security is the key during this time and no visitor/outsider should be allowed to enter farm premises and at the entry disinfectant should be dusted.

Proper care and management techniques during summer season will help farmers to maintain healthy animals, more milk production and assured profit from dairy farming.