Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



2019 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


Copyright © The Board Regents of the University of Nebraska.


A study using crossbred steers was conducted at a commercial feedyard to determine the effects of pen shades on cattle performance, body temperature, and cattle activity. Two heat events (Event 1 and Event 2) and one cool event were defined for the feeding period. No significant differences were observed for average daily gain, dry matter intake, feed to gain, or carcass characteristics at the end of the trial. During Event 1, cattle in pens with shade had lower panting scores than cattle in open pens. During Event 2, cattle in shade pens had greater dry matter intake, lower panting scores, and lower ear temperature. Throughout the entire feeding period, cattle in open pens had greater ear temperature and panting scores than cattle in shaded pens while movement was not different between treatments. Using shades for feedyard cattle did not impact performance, but did improve some measures of heat stress.