Evaluation of heat stress responses in Holstein and Jersey cows by analyzing physiological characteristics and milk production in Korea
Received: Mar 26, 2021; Revised: Mar 27, 2021; Accepted: Mar 27, 2021
Published Online: Apr 02, 2021
We evaluated the effects of heat stress on physiological responses and milk production in Holstein and Jersey cows reared in Korea. The mean average temperature-humidity index (THI) increased significantly from May to August and then decreased until October. The mean average rectal temperature (RT) was increased in Holstein cows compared with Jersey cows, as the THI values increased from 61 to 85. The average respiratory rate (RR) was increased in Jersey cows compared with Holstein cows when the THI value increased from 61 to 85. The average surface temperature of the rumen and udder was higher in Jersey cows than in Holstein cows when the THI value increased from 61 to 85. No significant difference was noted with respect to relative serum volumes between the breeds and THI ranges, but we measured significant changes in serum pH in Holstein and Jersey cows when the THI value increased from 61 to 85. Milk production was not significantly changed in Holstein cows when the THI increased from 61 to 85, but milk production and milk protein content were significantly altered in Jersey cows when the THI increased from 61 to 85. The current study suggests that Holstein cows still have an advantage in terms of the economic returns of dairy farms in Korea. Therefore, further research is required regarding the heat tolerance of Jersey cows in Korean climatic conditions.