Heat Stress and Late Gestation Cows – Dr. Geoff Dahl, University of Florida & Dr. Jimena Laporta, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Heat Stress and Late Gestation Cows


Dr. Geoff Dahl, University of Florida

Dr. Jimena Laporta, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Episode : 14 Heat Stress and Late Gestation Cows

Podcast Topic

We are back at the Real Science Exchange and invite you to pull up a chair and join us to discuss the effects of heat stress on late gestation cows. Tonight’s guests, who have worked together on research in this area, Dr. Geoff Dahl with the University of Florida and Dr. Jimena Laporta with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, join Scott Sorrell and Dr. Clay Zimmerman.


Dr. Dahl kicks off the discussion by level setting with the idea that cows have a thermal comfort zone and that it’s not just temperature but also humidity that can stress a cow. 4:44

To get a more accurate stress reading, Dr. Laporta and Dr. Dahl’s research has focused on measuring stress and environmental indicators without getting in contact with the animal. 8:40

Dr. Laporta discusses the stress can continue into future lactation periods of both the dam and the offspring. 16:45

Both researchers highlight their opinion on cow longevity in the herd and how stress can change the length of the cows’ time in the herd. 22:48

While the Florida humidity heightens the stress Dr. Dahl sees in Florida; both researchers highlighted they see seasonal effects on cows everywhere. If lactating cows are under stress for even a week, Dr. Laporta discusses the short-term event will have a long-term impact on the cow. 35:54

Heat stress can also cause acceleration of the maturation process for gestation timing. Dr. Dahl discusses the calf is signaling it is ready to be born based on the increase in the cows’ internal temperature. 45:09

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