Relationship between thermal comfort indices and internal temperature of grazing lactating Holstein × Gyr cows in western Amazonia

<div><p>ABSTRACT The relationship between the indices of thermal comfort and internal temperature in lactating cows was evaluated inRondônia, western Amazonia in a 2 × 2 crossover trial carried out with eight Girolando cows, ½ Holstein × ½ Gyr (n=4) and – Holstein × ¼ Gyr (n=4), grazing palisade grass supplemented with or without soybean oil concentrates. Data logger thermometers adapted to intravaginal devices (hormone free) were used to measure internal temperatures (IT) every 10 min over 48 h. Concomitantly, environmental parameters (air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation) were collected for the estimation of the temperature-humidity index (THI), equivalent temperature index (ETI), and predicted respiratory rate (PRR). Supplementation with soybean oil did not affect the internal temperature of the cows. IT varied significantly between the genetic groups, with the highest mean observed at night in the – Holstein × ¼ Gyr cows, compared with that in the ½ Holstein × ½ Gyr cows (39.54 °C vs 39.06 °C, respectively). THI, ETI, and PRR were significantly and positively correlated with the IT of the Girolando cows; however, the PRR was not found to be adequate in indicating the night-time heat stress in cows.</p></div>