50% of cattle in the world live in tropical and subtropical regions according to UF Animal Genetics and Genomics Associate Professor, Raluca Mateescu. That's a problem because cows in heat stress don't produce as much milk or meat.
A University of Florida study is looking for cows that possess genes that regulate their body temperature.
Cows can regulate body temperature in 2 ways resulting in producing less energy (heat) or getting rid of that extra energy (heat) more effectively.
A cow that produces less energy are going to stop eating "and that means slower growth and lower reproductive function", according to Mateescu.
Cows that manage heat stress by perspiring will stay cooler without effecting production.
These characteristics are measured when cows are placed inside a chute. The cows with a cool body temperature and a calm demeanor are the type that are managing heat stress in a more effective way. And those are the cows that researchers will look into further for their genetics.