How to treat heat stress in cattle

Cattle (Journal stock photo.)

Nobody likes to feel stressed, cattle included. And those cattle definitely don’t want to experience heat stress. But with the summer quickly approaching, it’s inevitable that heat stress is going to strike, ready or not.  

Preventing heat stress is actually preferred over treatment. But there is always going to be some need to treat heat stress in cattle. At BioZyme, St. Joseph, Missouri, experts believe in care that comes full circle. BioZyme created a blog to help producers.

Hydration is key 

The first step in relieving heat stress in cattle is to provide plenty of clean, fresh, cool water. Keeping your cattle hydrated is critical in preventing heat stress since dehydrated animals have problems maintaining body temperature.

If feasible, provide plenty of water sources, and spread them across several areas to help eliminate crowding of animals at one particular location. Also, position the water under shade, if possible, to help keep the animals gathered under the shade.   

Provide shade  

Speaking of shade, you might need to create some man-made shade structures If you have adequate trees, they might be enough to help eliminate heat stress. However, cattle grazing in a large open area where trees are not an option might need some extra shade tarps or buildings for shade.

If you have a building that serves as shade, make sure it has proper ventilation and circulation like a fan. An enclosed structure with minimal air movement will only contribute to your animals’ heat.

Limit working during the day 

Avoid working your cattle during extreme heat. If you need to work them, plan any work as early in the morning as possible before the day heats up.

Working animals causes stress and combined with heat stress can cause serious issues. If you need to transport your livestock, do so early in the day or later in the evening when the temperature cools.

Modify feeding times

Digestion contributes to increased body heat, therefore, heightening the chances of heat stress. Wait until later in the day for your afternoon feeding, and if you only feed once per day, make that feeding in the early afternoon.    

Other nutritional considerations   

Finally, keeping AO-BioticsAmaferm in your cattle diets, especially during the summer temperatures, is especially beneficial to helping alleviate heat stress. Amaferm is prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility.   

“Feeding Amaferm during heat stress has multiple benefits including improved digestibility, increased energy availability, improved rumen function and decreased loss of performance. The improved digestibility observed with Amaferm provides more energy to the animal during heat stress when intake is reduced,” Chris Cassady said.  

Amaferm is the core ingredient in VitaFerm products. For those who don’t know us, VitaFerm is a line of nutritional supplements for beef cattle. Our products maximize energy and forage utilization for successful production.

VitaFerm offers HEAT technology  

In addition to the benefits that Amaferm offers to assist with overall health and digestion, VitaFerm also works to relieve heat stress in cattle. How? The patented HEAT technology found within many of the VitaFerm products. 

So, how do you to treat heat stress in cattle with HEAT technology ? 

HEAT technology is a combination of essential oils and garlic to support animals when heat and insects are a challenge. It provides capsaicin to help maintain circulation to support animal performance in both heat and fescue situations.\Capsaicin and Amaferm are both research-proven to help maintain body temperature. HEAT also contains garlic to help deter insects. Keeping insects controlled is important to heat stress because insects like to gather on animals when they bunch up. Insect bites cause added stress and economic losses.   

A lowered body temperature has several key benefits. It helps get the females in the herd bred and keeps them bred. It helps keep those animals out grazing, which means the potential for gaining is greater, even in warmer climates.   

HEAT products  

Products with the HEAT technology are tailored to specific production phases that should be used for any time temperatures reach hotter than 70 degrees.  These include:  

VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S HEAT 

VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S HEAT, a premium free-choice 5% phosphorus vitamin and mineral supplement for beef cattle designed to support reproductive success. Use when temperatures are above 70 degrees or when cattle are grazing fescue.  

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VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S HEAT with ClariFly 

VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S HEAT with ClariFly, a premium free-choice 5% phosphorus vitamin and mineral supplement with ClariFly for beef cattle. It functions best when fed while temperatures are above 70 degrees or when cattle are grazing fescue to support reproductive success.  

VitaFerm HEAT Stress Tub  

VitaFerm HEAT Stress Tub is a tub for cattle that supports digestive health and intake when temperatures are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information, visit