Tel.+49 30 838 62618 Fax.+49 30 838 62620
The objectives of this study were to examine heat stress conditions at cow level and to investigate the relationship to the climate conditions at 5 different stationary locations inside a dairy barn. In addition, we compared the climate conditions at cow level between primiparous and multiparous cows for a period of 1 week after regrouping. The temperature-humidity index (THI) differed significantly between all stationary loggers. The lowest THI was measured at the window logger in the experimental stall and the highest THI was measured at the central logger in the experimental stall. The THI at the mobile cow loggers was 2·33 THI points higher than at the stationary loggers. Furthermore, the mean daily THI was higher at the mobile cow loggers than at the stationary loggers on all experimental days. The THI in the experimental pen was 0·44 THI points lower when the experimental cow group was located inside the milking parlour. The THI measured at the mobile cow loggers was 1·63 THI points higher when the experimental cow group was located inside the milking parlour. However, there was no significant difference for all climate variables between primiparous and multiparous cows. These results indicate, there is a wide range of climate conditions inside a dairy barn and especially areas with a great distance to a fresh air supply have an increased risk for the occurrence of heat stress conditions. Furthermore, the heat stress conditions are even higher at cow level and cows not only influence their climatic environment, but also generate microclimates within different locations inside the barn. Therefore climate conditions should be obtained at cow level to evaluate the heat stress conditions that dairy cows are actually exposed to.