Influence of Dietary Sodium and Potassium Bicarbonate and Total Potassium on Heat-Stressed Lactating Dairy Cows

P. L. Schneider, D. K. Beede, C. J. Wilcox, R. J. Collier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objectives were to study effects of heat stress, 0 or .85% sodium bicarbonate, 0 or 1.0% potassium bicarbonate, and 1.0 or 1.5% total dietary potassium on production and physiological responses of dairy cows. Eighteen lactating Holsteins were assigned to shade (control) or no shade (heat stress) lots continuously for three consecutive 35-day periods and to different dietary treatments each period. Basal diet was 25% cottonseed hulls and 75% concentrate. Daytime and nighttime feed intake and production were measured the last 2 wk of each period, and milk and blood were sampled the final day of each period. Black globe temperature, rectal temperature, respiration rate, and blood pH were higher in no shade. Daytime intake was 132% greater in shade, nighttime intake was not different between environments. Milk production was about 19% greater for evening and morning milkings in shade. Daytime intake, daytime and nighttime milk production were higher with sodium bicarbonate. Potassium bicarbonate reduced intake and production. Higher total dietary potassium increased total daily milk production. Lactating cows appear adept at withstanding environmental and dietary challenges to acid-base homeostasis. Supplementation of sodium bicarbonate and 1.5% dietary potassium, but not potassium bicarbonate, were beneficial to lactating dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2546-2553
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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