Extreme heat is a threat to livestock and will impact their performance and even jeopardize their life. Have your calves stopped gaining during the heat of summer? Have feedlot gains plummetted during a heat wave? Have you ever lost a black calf to heat stroke? Silver Murray Greys have a heat reflective coat which will minimize the impact of heat.
The 2006 summer was a tough one for most of us whether we lived in the West, the South, the Midwest or the East. The cattle losses from lost performance and death are counted in the billions of dollars.
Feeder Cattle: Heat Wave Dominates Market, Significant Death Loss
|This past week’s feeder and stocker cattle trade was completely dominated by the overwhelming heat wave that covered most of the United States. Triple digit temperatures covered all five major cattle feeding areas resulting in significant deathloss of calves, yearlings, and finished cattle. Many Kansas feedlots reported a drop in feed consumption and the absence of performance with many pens containing less pounds of cattle than they did two weeks ago. - Cattlenetwork.com 7/21/06
Scientific studies are showing the effects of heat on the profitability of some breeds in hot to extremely hot conditions. Light coated Murray Grey cattle outperform Angus and Hereford cattle in studies done by Yoichi Sakaguchi, School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland, Australia. The conclusion was that "coat color and coat characteristics of cattle play an important role in summer. Under hot climatic conditions, dark coated animals absorb more heat than light coated animls and it alters the metabolic heat production of the animal. Consequently, dark coated animals showed more seasonal differences in growth performance compared to light coated animals."
Regardless of coat colour, body surface temperature of feedlot cattle rose as climatic conditions became warmer. Under extremely hot conditions, body surface temperature was higher for Angus (110°F) compared with Murray Grey (101°F) steers.
Murray Grey steers had greater average daily gain (2.73lbs) than either Angus (2.26lbs) or Hereford(2.06lbs) over the 60 day summer feedlot finishing period. There were no differences between breeds for carcass weight, eye-muscle area and marbling score. However, Murray Grey steers had an ideal subcutaneous fat coverage.
"For additional information on performance under heat stress or to access the actual studies, go to Coat Color Advantages of Murray Greys in Hot Climates.