Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



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2020 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


A study using crossbred steers was conducted at a commercial feedyard in Eastern NE to determine the effects of shade on cattle performance, ear temperature, panting scores, and cattle activity. Cattle with shade had greater dry matter intake, average daily gain and lower panting scores while movement and ear temperature were not different between treatments. Over the course of the experiment three weather events were selected to be analyzed separately (two heat events and one cool event) based on wind adjusted temperature- humidity index. Providing shade during heat event 1 resulted in greater intakes and lower panting scores, while providing shade during heat event 2 resulted in lower panting scores compared to non- shaded cattle. During the cool event, greater intakes and lower panting scores were observed for shaded cattle, although panting scores were low for both treatments. Providing shade for cattle improved intakes and average daily gains while mitigating some effects of heat stress.