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Review (Published online: 05-03-2016)

3. Effect of heat stress on reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes: A review - Soumya Dash, A. K. Chakravarty, Avtar Singh, Arpan Upadhyay, Manvendra Singh and Saleem Yousuf

Veterinary World, 9(3): 235-244



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2016.235-244



Soumya Dash: Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India;

A. K. Chakravarty: Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India;

Avtar Singh: Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India;

Arpan Upadhyay: Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India;

Manvendra Singh: Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India;

Saleem Yousuf: Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India;


Received: 15-10-2015, Revised: 12-01-2016, Accepted: 19-01-2016, Published online: 05-03-2016


Corresponding author: Soumya Dash, e-mail:

Citation: Dash S, Chakravarty AK, Singh A, Upadhyay A, Singh M, Yousuf S (2016) Effect of heat stress on reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes: A review, Veterinary World, 9(3): 235-244.

Heat stress has adverse effects on the reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes. The dairy sector is a more vulnerable to global warming and climate change. The temperature humidity index (THI) is the widely used index to measure the magnitude of heat stress in animals. The bjective of this paper was to assess the decline in performances of reproductive traits such as service period, conception rate and pregnancy rate of dairy cattle and buffaloes with respect to increase in THI. The review stated that service period in cattle is affected by season of calving for which cows calved in summer had the longest service period. The conception rate and pregnancy rate in dairy cattle were found decreased above THI 72 while a significant decline in reproductive performances of buffaloes was observed above threshold THI 75. The non-heat stress zone (HSZ) (October to March) is favorable for optimum reproductive performance, while fertility is depressed in HSZ (April to September) and critical HSZ (CHSZ) (May and June). Heat stress in animals has been associated with reduced fertility through its deleterious impact on oocyte maturation and early embryo development. The management strategies viz., nutrition modification, environment modification and timed artificial insemination protocol are to be strictly operated to ameliorate the adverse effects of heat stress in cattle and buffaloes during CHSZ to improve their fertility. The identification of genes associated with heat tolerance, its incorporation into breeding program and the inclusion of THI covariate effects in selection index should be targeted for genetic evaluation of dairy animals in the hot climate.

Keywords: buffaloes, cattle, heat stress zone, reproductive traits, temperature humidity index.

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