Production and Physiological Responses of Dairy Cows to Varying Dietary Potassium During Heat Stress

P. G. Mallonée, D. K. Beede, R. J. Collier, C. J. Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives were to study influences of heat stress and dietary potassium content on production and physiological responses of 8 Jersey and 10 Holstein cows blocked by breed and assigned randomly to no shade or shade environments. Each cow received a different dietary potassium treatment (.66, 1.08, and 1.64% of dry matter) in each of three 30-day periods. Rates of potassium loss from skin were almost five times greater for no shade as for shade cows during the hottest part of the day (1300 to 1500 h). Overall, cows with no shade ate 56% less during the daytime (0800 to 1600 h), 19% more during nighttime (1600 to 0800 h), and 13% less total feed than cows with shade. Interactions of environment and breed with dietary potassium treatment suggest differences in feed intake and milk yield responses to increasing dietary potassium content. Total daily feed intake and milk yield of cows with no shade responded in curvilinear fashion to increasing dietary potassium, whereas responses in shade were small. Largest responses in no shade were as dietary potassium increased from .66 to 1.08%. Milk yield of Holsteins increased with increasing dietary potassium, but yield of Jerseys did not. Combined effects of elevated potassium loss from skin and reduced potassium and dry matter intake during heat stress suggested that lactating dairy cows may benefit from supplemental potassium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1487
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Production and Physiological Responses of Dairy Cows to Varying Dietary Potassium During Heat Stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this