Effects of Somatotropin on Milk Yield and Physiological Responses During Summer Farm and Hot Laboratory Conditions

H. D. Johnson, R. Li, W. Manalu, K. J. Spencer-Johnson, B. Ann Becker, R. J. Collier, C. A. Baile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The effects of bST on performance and physiological responses of lactating cows was studied under farm summer and laboratory heat conditions. Twelve cows, 90 to 50 d postpartum, were injected with either bST or vehicle solution for 30 d under farm summer and 10 d under either laboratory thermoneutral or heat conditions. Somatotropin increased milk yield by 6.1 (21%), 8.1 (32%), and 7.3 kg (35%) under the farm summer, laboratory thermoneutral, and heat conditions, respectively. Somatotropin also increased milk fat by 15 and 19% and dry matter intake by 16 and 18% under laboratory thermoneutral and heat conditions, respectively. Somatotropin increased the efficiency of feed conversion into milk without any significant changes in body weight and temperatures. Somatotropin reduced plasma concentrations of triiodothyronine and cortisol and had no effect on plasma prolactin and insulin concentrations. Somatotropin did not increase water intake; however, hematocrit was decreased. The results suggest that stimulatory effects of bST on milk production are still observed on heatstressed cows without any significant indications of additional heat stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1262
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • PRL
  • T
  • T
  • THI
  • TN
  • WBC
  • heat stress
  • milk yield
  • prolactin
  • somatotropin
  • temperature-humidity index
  • thermoneutral
  • thyroxine
  • triio-dothyronine
  • white blood cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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