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Interpretive Summary: Impact of shade in beef feedyards on performance, ear temperature, and heat stress measures

By: Thomas M Winders, Brett A Melton, Bradley M Boyd, Casey N Macken, Andrea K Watson, James C MacDonald, Galen E Erickson

This study was performed over two separate summers to evaluate natural exposure to heat and quantify the impact that providing shade has on stress measures, estimates of body temperature, and feedlot performance. In the first year, cattle were marketed after summer heat events and while ear temperature and panting scores were decreased for cattle in shaded pens, the effect was not significant enough to influence performance parameters. In the second year when cattle were marketed more immediately following heat impacts, cattle fed in shaded pens consumed more feed and gained more weight than cattle fed in pens without shade. In both years, cattle decreased dry matter intakes to offset normal heat events.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.