Focus on Livestock in the Caribbean

Climate Effects on Livestock and Dairy

  • Heat stress increases animal body temperatures, sweating, and panting, and thus reduces animal feed intake and productivity
  • In dairy cows, heat stress reduces: the amount of milk produced, milk fat and protein content, and fertility rates.
  • Increasing temperatures can increase water demands to meet animal needs and grow forage .
  • Changes in rainfall distributions lead to changes in diseases sensitive to moisture and relative humidity.
  • Increased costs of animal housing (i.e. cooling systems) Warming increases proliferation and survival of parasites and disease pathogens.