Heat stress in farm animals: nutritional issues and solutions

April 23, 2024
Heat stress consequences on ruminants

Heat stress represents a major challenge for livestock, affecting their wellbeing and productivity significantly. When temperatures rise, animals seek to regulate their body temperature by reducing their food intake, resulting in a series of complex physiological responses.

These responses include alterations in breathing patterns, blood gas imbalances and reduced blood flow to essential organs, thereby contributing to heat removal.

The destructive consequences of heat stress

In addition to the immediate physiological disturbances, thermal stress also induces intestinal hypoxia, leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and imbalances in the microbial composition of the gut. These disturbances compromise digestion and nutrient absorption, while increased gut permeability allows toxins and bacteria to enter the body, triggering generalized inflammation.

READ MORE. Our solutions for ruminants

These chain reactions trigger hormonal adjustments, which are a priority for the stress response, but harmful to the animals’ growth and reproduction functions. As a result, productivity and product quality are affected, leading to significant economic losses for the agricultural industry.

Innovative nutritional strategies to reduce heat stress

Faced with this complex challenge, nutritional strategies are emerging as promising solutions for mitigating the effects of heat stress in farmed animals. The use of feed additives such as phytogens, vitamins, microminerals and electrolytes offer a multifaceted approach to improve animal resilience to heat stress.

READ MORE. Thermo®Tool, the app that measures the thermal comfort of your animals

These components, individually or in combination, provide a multi-layered defence against health impacts induced by heat stress. However, despite the substantial research already carried out on these additives, it is essential to further explore their combinations and optimal dosages to maximise their effectiveness.

Reinforcing the resilience of livestock

As research progresses, it is anticipated that the effectiveness of feed additive solutions against heat stress will improve, enhancing the resilience of livestock to this growing challenge. With a focus on reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, these solutions aim to guarantee the integrity of health and gut function in livestock.

Take action today to protect your animals! Explore our innovative nutritional Thermo solutions, developed by CCPA Group for maximum resilience.