Brown Swiss cows are more heat resistant than Holstein cows under hot summer conditions of the continental climate of Ukraine




dairy cattle, milk productivity, physiological parameters, thermal tolerance


Finding livestock breeds that are resistant to high temperatures may be one of the strategies for mitigating the impact of global climate change on dairy farming. In this investigation, we studied the heat resistance of Holstein (HB) and Brown Swiss (BS) cows on two commercial dairy farms under the hot summer conditions of Ukraine. The physiological response of animals determined heat resistance by measuring rectal temperature (RT) and respiratory rate (RR) in the morning (from 4:00 to 6:00) in comfortable conditions and the afternoon (from 14:00 to 16:00), during heat load. The temperature-humidity index (THI) was used to characterize weather conditions and microclimate in naturally ventilated rooms (NVBs). BS cows were found to be heat resistant. The reaction of HB cows to the heat was manifested by higher growth of RT and RR, and they suffered significant losses in the daily milk yield per cow in the summer. Further research will need to elucidate the biological and genetic mechanisms of the identified breed differences in heat tolerance of dairy cows.


Abdela N, Jilo K (2016) Impact of climate change on livestock health: A review. Global Veterinaria 16:419-424.

Algers B, Bertoni G, Broom D, Hartung J, Lidfors L, Metz J, Munksgaard L, Pina TN, Oltenacu P, Rehage J, Rushen J (2009) Effects of farming systems on dairy cow welfare and disease. Scientific report of EFSA prepared by the Animal Health and Animal Welfare Unit on the effects of farming systems on dairy cow welfare and disease. Annex to the EFSA Journal 1143:1-38.

Amamou H, Beckers Y, Mahouachi M, Hammami H (2019) Thermotolerance indicators related to production and physiological responses to heat stress of Holstein cows. Journal of Thermal Biology 82:90-98. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2019.03.016

Benezra MV (1954) A new index measuring the adaptability of cattle to tropical conditions. Journal of Animal Science 13:1015.

Bernabucci U, Biffani S, Buggiotti L, Vitali A, Lacetera N, Nardone A (2014) The effects of heat stress in Italian Holstein dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 97:471-486. doi:10.3168/jds.2013-6611

Binsiya TK, Sejian V, Bagath M, Krishnan G, Hyder I, Manimaran A, Lees AM, Gaughan JB, Bhatta R (2016) Significance of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to adapt to climate change in livestock. International Research Journal of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2:1-20.

Broucek J, Ryba S, Dianova M, Uhrincat M, Soch M, Sistkova M, Mala G, Novak P (2019) Effect of evaporative cooling and altitude on dairy cows milk efficiency in lowlands. International Journal of Biometeorology 64:433-444. doi:10.1007/s00484-019-01828-5

Daltro D dos S, Fischer V, Alfonzo EPM, Dalcin VC, Stumpf MT, Kolling GJ, Silva MVGB da, McManus C (2017) Infrared thermography as a method for evaluating the heat tolerance in dairy cows. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 46: 374-383. doi:10.1590/s1806-92902017000500002

Das R, Sailo L, Verma N, Bharti P, Saikia J, Imtiwati, Kumar R (2016) Impact of heat stress on health and performance of dairy animals: A review. Veterinary World 9:260-268. doi:10.14202/vetworld.2016.260-268

Dikmen S, Hansen PJ (2009) Is the temperature-humidity index the best indicator of heat stress in lactating dairy cows in a subtropical environment? Journal of Dairy Science 92:109-116. doi:10.3168/jds.2008-1370

Dikmen S, Cole JB, Null DJ, Hansen PJ (2012) Heritability of rectal temperature and genetic correlations with production and reproduction traits in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 95:3401-3405. doi:10.3168/jds.2011-4306

Dmitriev AF (1970) The role of natural resistance in the acclimatization of farm animals. Proceedings of the Tselinograd Agricultural Institute 8: 27-34.

Doumbia EM, Janke D, Yi Q, Zhang G, Amon T, Kriegel M, Hempel S (2021) On Finding the Right Sampling Line Height through a Parametric Study of Gas Dispersion in a NVB. Applied Sciences 11:4560. doi:10.3390/app11104560

Ferreira FC, Gennari RS, Dahl GE, De Vries A (2016) Economic feasibility of cooling dry cows across the United States. Journal of Dairy Science 99:9931-9941. doi:10.3168/jds.2016-11566

Gantner V, Mijić P, Kuterovac K, Solić D, Gantner R (2011) Temperature-humidity index values and their significance on the daily production of dairy cattle. Daily production of dairy cattle. Mljekarstvo 61:56-63.

Garner JB, Douglas ML, Williams SRO, Wales WJ, Marett LC, Nguyen TTT, Reich CM, Hayes BJ (2016) Genomic Selection Improves Heat Tolerance in Dairy Cattle. Scientific Reports 6. doi:10.1038/srep34114

Hammami H, Bormann J, M’hamdi N, Montaldo HH, Gengler N (2013) Evaluation of heat stress effects on production traits and somatic cell score of Holsteins in a temperate environment. Journal of Dairy Science 96:1844-1855. doi:10.3168/jds.2012-5947

Heinicke J, Hoffmann G, Ammon C, Amon B, Amon T (2018) Effects of the daily heat load duration exceeding determined heat load thresholds on activity traits of lactating dairy cows. Journal of Thermal Biology 77:67-74. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2018.08.012

Kibler HH (1964) Thermal efects of various temperature-humidity combinations on Holstein cattle as measured by eight physiological responses. Environmental physiology and shelter engineering. Agricultural Experiment Station, Missouri, pp. 1-42.

Kim WS., Lee J-S, Jeon SW, Peng DQ, Kim YS, Bae MH, Jo YH, Lee HG (2018) Correlation between blood, physiological and behavioral parameters in beef calves under heat stress. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 31:919-925. doi:10.5713/ajas.17.0545

Kumar R, Gupta ID., Verma A, Singh S, Kumari R, Verma, N (2021) Genetic polymorphism in HSPB6 gene and their association with heat tolerance traits in Indian Karan Fries (Bos taurus x Bos indicus) cattle. Animal Biotechnology, 1-12. doi:10.1080/10495398.2021.1899939

Mader TL, Davis MS, Brown-Brandl T (2006) Environmental factors influencing heat stress in feedlot cattle. Journal of Animal Science 84:712-719. doi:10.2527/2006.843712x

Maggiolino A, Dahl GE, Bartolomeo N, Bernabucci U, Vitali A, Serio G, Cassandro M, Centoducati G, Santus E, De Palo P (2020) Estimation of maximum thermo-hygrometric index thresholds affecting milk production in Italian Brown Swiss cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 103:8541-8553. doi:10.3168/jds.2020-18622

McManus C, Prescott E, Paludo GR, Bianchini E, Louvandini H, Mariante AS (2009) Heat tolerance in naturalized Brazilian cattle breeds. Livestock Science 120:256-264. doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2008.07.014

Mylostyvyi R, Chernenko O (2019). Correlations between environmental factors and milk production of Holstein cows. Data 4:103. data4030103.

Mylostyvyi R, Izhboldina O, Chernenko O, Khramkova O, Kapshuk N, Hoffmann G (2020) Microclimate modeling in naturally ventilated dairy barns during the hot season: Checking the accuracy of forecasts. Journal of Thermal Biology 93:102720. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102720

Nasr MAF, El-Tarabany MS (2017) Impact of three THI levels on somatic cell count, milk yield and composition of multiparous Holstein cows in a subtropical region. Journal of Thermal Biology, 64:73-77. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2017.01.004

Nguyen TTT, Bowman PJ, Haile-Mariam M, Pryce JE, Hayes BJ (2016) Genomic selection for tolerance to heat stress in Australian dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 99:2849-2862. doi:10.3168/jds.2015-9685

Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle (2001). doi:10.17226/9825

Petrovic M, Rakonjac S, Bogdanovic V, Bogosavljevic-Boskovic S, Djokovic R, Djedovic R, Petrovic M (2019) Effect of non-genetic factors on longevity traits in Simmental cows. Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry 35:229-241. doi:10.2298/bah1903229p

Rashamol VP, Sejian V, Bagath M, Krishnan G, Archana PR, Bhatta R (2018) Physiological adaptability of livestock to heat stress: an updated review. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology 6:62-71. doi:10.31893/2318-1265jabb.v6n3p62-71

Ray D, Correa-Calderon A, Armstrong D, Enns M, DeNise S, Howison C. (2004) Thermoregulatory responses of Holstein and Brown Swiss Heat-Stressed dairy cows to two different cooling systems. International Journal of Biometeorology 48:142-148. doi:10.1007/s00484-003-0194-y

Smith DL, Smith T, Rude BJ, Ward SH (2013) Short communication: Comparison of the effects of heat stress on milk and component yields and somatic cell score in Holstein and Jersey cows. Journal of Dairy Science 96:3028-3033. doi:10.3168/jds.2012-5737

Tomczyk AM, Bednorz E, Półrolniczak M (2019) The occurrence of heat waves in Europe and their circulation conditions. Geografie 124:1-17. doi:10.37040/geografie2019124010001

Wang X, Gao H, Gebremedhin KG, Bjerg BS, Van Os J, Tucker CB, Zhang G (2018) A predictive model of equivalent temperature index for dairy cattle (ETIC). Journal of Thermal Biology 76:165-170.

Wang Y, Huang J, Xia P, He J, Wang C, Ju Z, Li J, Li R, Zhong J, Li Q (2013) Genetic variations of HSBP1 gene and its effect on thermal performance traits in Chinese Holstein cattle. Molecular Biology Reports 40:3877–3882.

Wangui JC, Bebe BO, Ondiek JO, Oseni SO (2018) Application of the climate analogue concept in assessing the probable physiological and haematological responses of Friesian cattle to changing and variable climate in the Kenyan Highlands. South African Journal of Animal Science 48:572.

Yi, Q., Zhang, G., König, M., Janke, D., Hempel, S., & Amon, T. (2018). Investigation of discharge coefficient for wind-driven naturally ventilated dairy barns. Energy and Buildings, 165, 132–140.

Dynamics of daily milk yield in a herd of dairy cows in the warm season, depending on the breed of animals.




How to Cite

Mylostyvyi, R., Lesnovskay, O., Karlova, L., Khmeleva, O., Кalinichenko O., Orishchuk, O., Tsap, S., Begma, N., Cherniy, N., Gutyj, B., & Izhboldina, O. (2021). Brown Swiss cows are more heat resistant than Holstein cows under hot summer conditions of the continental climate of Ukraine. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology, 9(4), 2134.



Research Article