The aim of this study was to assess the effect of two air stirring systems (ceiling fans vs. axial fans) on environment, performance, rumination and activity of beef cattle during the first period after the arrival to the fattening unit. One group of 106 charolais bulls was raised from August to October in a roofed, loose housing facility with straw bedding. Animals were randomly assigned to pens equipped with one of two types of fans: ceiling fans and axial fans. The trial lasted 70 days, and was divided into 3 periods. In the first and third periods fans were in operation, whereas in the second they were switched off. Animals were evaluated for average daily weight gain, cleanliness, dry matter intake, rumination time, activity level and health condition. The temperature-humidity index and the comprehensive climate index were continuously calculated and pens were periodically checked for the dry matter of the bedding. The average temperature-humidity index was lower in the third period (65.5) compared to the first (74.4) and second (75.3) periods (P < 0.001), but was not affected by the air stirring system, while on the contrary the comprehensive climate index was higher in AF than in CF during the first period (27.1 vs. 24.9 °C; P < 0.05). Ceiling fans led to higher dry matter of the bedding in the first (30.6 vs. 45.1%; P < 0.01), second (29.4 vs. 34.3%; P < 0.05) and third periods (22.2 vs. 31.3%; P < 0.05) and to cleaner bulls at the end of the trial. Animals raised with ceiling fans showed higher average daily weight gain (1.20 vs. 1.36 kg/day; P = 0.039), higher daily rumination time in the first period (431 vs. 475 m; P < 0.01) and patterns of rumination and activity compatible with a lower level of heat stress. Based on these results, it appears that ceiling fans are promising tools to be used to reduce heat stress and optimize performance of beef cattle.

Effects of axial and ceiling fans on environmental conditions, performance and rumination in beef cattle during the early fattening period

Marchesini, Giorgio;Cortese, Martina;Mottaran, Davide;Ricci, Rebecca;Serva, Lorenzo;Contiero, Barbara;Segato, Severino;Andrighetto, Igino
2018

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of two air stirring systems (ceiling fans vs. axial fans) on environment, performance, rumination and activity of beef cattle during the first period after the arrival to the fattening unit. One group of 106 charolais bulls was raised from August to October in a roofed, loose housing facility with straw bedding. Animals were randomly assigned to pens equipped with one of two types of fans: ceiling fans and axial fans. The trial lasted 70 days, and was divided into 3 periods. In the first and third periods fans were in operation, whereas in the second they were switched off. Animals were evaluated for average daily weight gain, cleanliness, dry matter intake, rumination time, activity level and health condition. The temperature-humidity index and the comprehensive climate index were continuously calculated and pens were periodically checked for the dry matter of the bedding. The average temperature-humidity index was lower in the third period (65.5) compared to the first (74.4) and second (75.3) periods (P < 0.001), but was not affected by the air stirring system, while on the contrary the comprehensive climate index was higher in AF than in CF during the first period (27.1 vs. 24.9 °C; P < 0.05). Ceiling fans led to higher dry matter of the bedding in the first (30.6 vs. 45.1%; P < 0.01), second (29.4 vs. 34.3%; P < 0.05) and third periods (22.2 vs. 31.3%; P < 0.05) and to cleaner bulls at the end of the trial. Animals raised with ceiling fans showed higher average daily weight gain (1.20 vs. 1.36 kg/day; P = 0.039), higher daily rumination time in the first period (431 vs. 475 m; P < 0.01) and patterns of rumination and activity compatible with a lower level of heat stress. Based on these results, it appears that ceiling fans are promising tools to be used to reduce heat stress and optimize performance of beef cattle.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3286651
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