Dairy cattle in New Zealand pastoral systems are exposed to the effects of the weather: heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind. Generally, if their nutritional needs are met they can tolerate weather variations well, with the exception of the young.

But there are occasions when weather extremes can create welfare risks and farmers need to have management plans in place to provide shelter and/or shade where such welfare risks are likely to occur.

Find out more about some environmental elements that can impact dairy cattle here

Adverse weather

Outdoor farming systems in New Zealand provide lots of positive experiences for our cattle. They enjoy the fresh air, varied and interesting environments and the opportunity to express natural grazing behaviour.

Heat Stress

Heat stress occurs when an animal's heat load is greater than its capacity to lose heat. Cows feel hot sooner than we do. High air temperature, humidity, solar radiation and low air movement contribute to increased risk.

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