Influence of climatic conditions on tympanic temperature and milk production in grazing cows


  • Mauricio Velez Terranova Profesor Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede palmira
  • Raul Molina
  • Hugo Sanchez
  • Romulo Campos
  • Sandra Perilla



body temperature, dairy cows performance, grazing systems, sensors


The present study aimed to analyze large volumes of tympanic temperature (TT) data to identify its use as a physiological indicator of climatic conditions and its relationship with milk production in grazing cows under tropical lowland conditions. Three dairy farms and 21 multiparous early lactation cows were included in the study. Seven animals were equipped with tympanic temperature wireless sensors within each farm, and permanent information was collected hourly for 22 days on average. Ambient temperature (AT), relative humidity (RH), wind speed (WS), precipitation (PP), and THI information were obtained from meteorological stations located close to each farm. Statistical analyses included Spearman correlations and random coefficient regression models (P < 0.05). TT presented moderate and significant correlations with AT (0.35 to 0.49), SR (0.25 to 0.32), THI (0.35 to 0.49), and RH (-0.35 to -0.49). Climatic variables like AT, PP, SR, and WS were the most contributing factors to TT prediction (R2 =0.42 to 0.86). Grazing dairy cows in tropical scenarios accumulate heat during the day and dissipate it at nighttime, although higher producing animals deal with more problems to reach thermal homeostasis. Correlations between TT and daily milk production varied according to animal yield; however, higher TT values were related to the most productive cows. The effect of TT on milk production prediction was not conclusive among farms, possibly by animal management or others characteristics of the systems. TT determination through remote sensors allows a reliable diagnosis of the physiological temperature response to climatic conditions.


Akbar MO, Ali MJ, Hussain A, Qaiser G, Pasha M, Pasha U, Akhtar N (2020) IoT for Development of Smart Dairy Farming. Journal of Food Quality.

Arias RA, Herrera C, Larraín, R, González F, Mader TL, Velásquez (2018) Physiological and behavioural response of two dairy cows' genotypes during summertime in the central region of Chile. Austral Journal of Veterinary Sciences.

Baida BEL, Swinbourne AM, Barwick J, Leu ST, van Wettere WH (2021) Technologies for the automated collection of heat stress data in sheep. Animal Biotelemetry.

Barrera A, Angeli N, Machado L, Cardoso F, Gonzalez F (2015) Relationships between heat stress and metabolic and milk parameters in dairy cows in southern Brazil. Tropical Animal Health and Production.

Bastos – Lopes L, Eckstein C, Santos – Pina D (2016) The influence of trees on the thermal environment and behavior of grazing heifers in Brazilian Midwest. Tropical Animal Health and Production.

Bergen RD, Kennedy AD (2000) Relationship between vaginal and tympanic membrane temperature in beef heifers. Canadian Journal of Animal Science.

Broom DM, Galindo FA, Murgueitio E (2013) Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Becker CA, Collier RJ, Stone AE (2020) Invited review: Physiological and behavioral effects of heat stress in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science.

Collier R, Gebremedhin K (2015) Thermal biology of domestic animals. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences.

Collier RJ, Baumgard LH, Zimbelman RB, Xiao Y (2019) Heat stress: physiology of acclimation and adaptation. Animal Frontiers.

Da silva RG, Campos Maia AS (2013) Principles of Animal Biometeorology. In: McGregor G (ed) Thermal Stress Indexes, vol 2 Springer, pp 207-227.

Da Silva RG, Morais DAEF, Guilhermino MM (2007) Evaluation of thermal stress indexes for dairy cows in tropical regions. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 36(4): 1192-1198.

Daltro AM, Bettencourt AF, Ximenes CAK, dos Santos Daltro D, & dos Santos Pinho AP (2020) Efeito do estresse térmico por calor na produção de vacas leiteiras. Pesquisa Agropecuária Gaúcha.

De León C, Manrique C, Martínez R, Rocha JF (2019) Genomic association study for adaptability traits in four Colombian cattle breeds. Genetics and Molecular Research.

Dikmen S, Larson CC, De Vries A, Hansen PJ (2020) Effectiveness of tunnel ventilation as dairy cow housing in hot climates: rectal temperatures during heat stress and seasonal variation in milk yield. Tropical animal health and production.

Di Rienzo JA, Casanoves MG, Balzarini LA, Gonzalez EM. Tablada (2017) InfoStat versión 2017. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba-Argentina.

Fahlman A, Aoki K, Bale G, Brijs J, Chon K, Drummond CK, Wisniewska DM (2021) The new era of physio-logging and their grand challenges. Frontiers in Physiology. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.669158

Gama LT, Martinez AM, Ginja C, Cañon J, Martin-Burriel I, Revidatti MA, Landi V (2020) Genetic Diversity and Structure of Iberoamerican Livestock Breeds. In Advances in Animal Health, Medicine and Production.

Gantner V, Bobic T, Gantner R, Gregic M, Kuterovac K, Novakovic J, Potocnik K (2017) Differences in response to heat stress due to production level and breed of dairy cows. International Journal of Biometeorology 61: 1675-1685.

Gaughan JB, Mader TL, Holt SM, Lisle A (2008) A new heat load index for feedlot cattle. Journal of Animal Science.

Godyń D, Herbut P, Angrecka S (2019) Measurements of peripheral and deep body temperature in cattle–A review. Journal of thermal biology.

Hernández-Castellano LE, Nally JE, Lindahl J, Wanapat M, Alhidary IA, Fangueiro D, Almeida AM (2019) Dairy science and health in the tropics: challenges and opportunities for the next decades. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 10.1007/s11250-019-01866-6

Hoffmann G, Herbut P, Pinto S, Heinicke J, Kuhla B, Amon T (2020) Animal-related, non-invasive indicators for determining heat stress in dairy cows. Biosystems Engineering.

Jara IE, Keim JP, Arias RA (2016) Behaviour, tympanic temperature and performance of dairy cows during summer season in southern Chile. Archivos de Medicina Veterinaria.

Liu J, Li L, Chen X, Lu Y, Wang D (2019) Effects of heat stress on body temperature, milk production, and reproduction in dairy cows: a novel idea for monitoring and evaluation of heat stress — A review. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences.

Mayer JJ, Davis JD, Purswell JL, Koury EJ, Younan NH, Larson JE, Brown-Brandl TM (2016) Development and characterization of a continuous tympanic temperature logging (CTTL) probe for bovine animals. Transactions of the ASABE. 59(2): 703-714.

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

Molina RA, Silva F, Perilla S, Sánchez H (2016) Caracterización del ambiente térmico para la actividad ganadera bovina en el Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Acta Agronómica.

Morales-Vallecilla F, Ortiz-Grisales S (2018) Productividad y eficiencia de ganaderías lecheras especializadas en el Valle del Cauca (Colombia). Revista de la Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y de Zootecnia.

Parra-Cortés R, Magaña-Magaña M (2021) Technical-economic characteristics of bovine production systems of the Colombian creoles breeds Romosinuano and Hartón del Valle. Journal MVZ Cordoba.

Polsky L, von Keyserlingk AG (2017) Invited review: Effects of heat stress on dairy cattle welfare. International Journal of Dairy Science.

RStudio Team (2020) RStudio: Integrated development for R. RStudio, PBC, Boston, MA URL

Scharf B, Leonard MJ, Weaber RL, Mader TL, Hahn GL, Spiers DE (2011) Determinants of bovine thermal response to heat and solar radiation exposures in a field environment. International Journal of Biometeorology.

Sejian V, Bhatta R, Gaughan JB, Dunshea FR, Lacetera N (2018) Adaptation of animals to heat stress. Animal. doi:org/10.1017/S1751731118001945

Sellier N, Guettier E, Staub C (2014) A review of methods to measure animal body temperature in precision farming. American Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology. doi:10.7726/ajast.2014.1008

Shu H, Wang W, Guo L, Bindelle J (2021) Recent Advances on Early Detection of Heat Strain in Dairy Cows Using Animal-Based Indicators: A Review. Animals.

Silva GM, Cangiano LR, Fabris TF, Merenda VR, Chebel RC, Dubeux JCB, DiLorenzo N, Laporta J (2021) Effects of providing artificial shade to pregnant grazing beef heifers on vaginal temperature, growth, activity, and behavior. Translational Animal Science.

Stürmer M, Busanello M, Velho JP, Heck VI, Haygert-Velho IM (2018) Relationship between climatic variables and the variation in bulk tank milk composition using canonical correlation analysis. International Journal of Biometeorology.

Vasconcelos de AM, de Albuquerque CC, de Carvalho JF, Façanha DAE, Lima FRG, Silveira RMF, & Ferreira J 2020 Adaptive profile of dairy cows in a tropical region. International Journal of Biometeorology.

Wireless earmuff-type sensors to measure tympanic temperature.




How to Cite

Velez Terranova, M., Molina, R., Sanchez, H., Campos, R. ., & Perilla, S. . (2021). Influence of climatic conditions on tympanic temperature and milk production in grazing cows. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology, 9(4), 2132.



Research Article