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Research (Published online: 05-11-2014)

3. Assessment of optimum thermal humidity index for crossbred dairy cows in Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, India - Shweta Kohli,

U. K. Atheya and A. Thapliyal

Veterinary World, 7(11): 916-921



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2014.916-921



Shweta Kohli: Department of Biotechnology, Graphic Era University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India;

U. K. Atheya: Department of Veterinary Diagnostic, Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering Center, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India;

A. Thapliyal: Department of Biotechnology, Graphic Era University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India;


Received: 16-07-2014, Revised: 26-09-2014, Accepted: 30-09-2014, Published online: 05-11-2014


Corresponding author: Shweta Kohli, e-mail:

Aim: Uttarakhand is a relatively new state and many cross bred cattle were introduced to boost the milk yield of the state. Despite all efforts the milk yield of dairy in Uttarakhand is comparatively low. In our study, we assessed the effect of heat stress on milk production, using thermal humidity index (THI) in high (cross bred cattle) and low milk producing (LMP) cows (native cows) in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, India.

Materials and Methods: Effect of heat stress was measured on high and LMP cross bred cows using THI maintained on standard feeding and nutritional value. Daily ambient temperature and relative humidity were recorded to calculate the THI. Daily milk production was noted to verify the effect of heat stress. Furthermore, profile the thyroid hormones using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Low yielding cows did not show any significant change when the THI was above 72 from month June to October during stress condition. But high yielding cows shows a significant decrease (p<0.05) in milk yield when THI was above 80 (severe stress zone) in the month of June to October and milk production decrease from an average of 181.4 to 10.90.92 L whereas in November-December when THI declines in the zone of comfort the milk yield did not show significant rise. The thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) level were found lower in summer heat stress condition for a high yielding cattle.

Conclusion: Summer heat stress significantly decreased milk yield in high milk producing (HMP) crossbred cows. As THI rises from comfort zone to stress zone milk yield decreased by 30-40% and this loss in milk production is irreversible. Management strategies should be needed as environmental control housing is suggested for the HMP crossbred cattle to minimize the heat stress. If all the dairies with cross bred cattle implement these small modifications in housing of cattle, there would be a huge increase in milk production.

Keywords: cross bred dairy cow, heat stress, milk production.

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