Impact of observed and controlled water intake on reticulorumen temperature in lactating dairy cattle

Melissa C. Cantor, Joao H.C. Costa, Jeffrey M. Bewley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Dairy precision technologies helps producers monitor individual animals. Reticulorumen temperature boluses are a way to monitor core body temperature; however, factors such as water intake affects reticulorumen temperature. This research determined the effect of natural water intake and a controlled water drench on reticulorumen temperature (RT) in dairy cattle. In observational study part 1, tie-stall cows (n = 4) with RT transponders were observed for natural water intake (recorded by in line water meters) for 48 h. In experiment part 2, a randomized Latin square design with cows (n = 12) restricted on feed for 4 h, were drenched daily with a water quantity of 6.7 L, 11.4 L or 22.7 L, and at controlled water temperature of 1.7°C, 7.2°C, 15.5°C, or 29.4°C. Descriptively, observational study 1 had (Mean ± SD 0.27 ± 0.31 L ingested per drinking event (n = 84) and RT decline from baseline was 2.29 ± 1.82°C. For the experiment, a 48-h specific rolling baseline temperature range (BTR) was calculated for each cow prior to the experiment to determine time required for RT to reach BTR, and time to return to BTR. In part 2 of the experiment, as water quantity increased, RT had a greater maximum degree drop from baseline. Water temperature and water quantity interaction influenced time required for BTR to reestablish. The coldest water temperature at the highest drench quantity affected time for BTR to reestablish the longest (103 min). Results from this study suggest that an algorithm could be designed to predict water intake events for producers using reticulorumen temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Dairy cattle
  • Precision dairy technology
  • Reticulorumen
  • Temperature
  • Water intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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