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Effects of a tunnel ventilation system within the tie-stall barn environment upon the productivity of dairy cattle during the winter season

  • Sarentonglaga, Borjigin (University Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University) ;
  • Sugiyama, Tatsuhiro (University Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University) ;
  • Fukumori, Rika (University Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University) ;
  • Nagao, Yoshikazu (University Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University)
  • Received : 2018.06.10
  • Accepted : 2018.09.03
  • Published : 2019.05.01

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of using a tunnel ventilation system within the dairy barn environment upon the productivity of dairy cows during the winter season. Methods: The study was performed at the University Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University. Twenty-one Holstein dairy cows (5 heifers and 16 multiparous) were enclosed in a stall barn. Unventilated (UV) and tunnel-ventilated (TV) was operated by turns every other week, and a number of key parameters were measured in the barn, including tunnel ventilation output, temperature, relative humidity, gas concentrations (oxygen [$O_2$], carbon dioxide [$CO_2$], and ammonia [$NH_3$]). Also, skin and rectal temperature, respiratory rate, blood gas concentrations, and bacterial count were measured from nipple attachments on ten cows. The amount of fodder left uneaten, and general components and somatic cell count of the milk were measured. Results: As for our dairy barn environment, air temperature dropped significantly with the passage of time with TV. Humidity was significantly higher with TV at 0600 h compared to UV, while $CO_2$ and $NH_3$ concentrations with UV were significantly higher than with TV at 0000 h and 0600 h. Skin temperature was significantly lower with TV compared to UV at 0000 h and 0600 h. Respiratory rate was also significantly lower at 0600 h with TV than with UV. Bacterial count for the nipple attachments was significantly lower with TV than with UV at 0600 h. The amount of leftover fodder was significantly less with TV in comparison with UV. Conclusion: Our results suggest that a TV system in the winter barn results in environmental improvements, such as reductions in unfavorable gas concentrations and bacterial growth. Consequently, it is expected that barns utilizing a TV system will be beneficial for both animal health and production.

Keywords

Winter Season;Tunnel Ventilation;Dairy Cows;Barn Environment

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