Reduces the impact of heat stress
Heat stress in ruminants
In ruminants, heat stress occurs when temperatures exceed 20°C, in particular if air humidity is high. Under such conditions, the animals evacuate body heat through the respiratory tract (significant increase in the respiratory rate), leading to an increase in expired CO2 and causing respiratory alkalosis. This alkalosis reduces the quantity of bicarbonate that is naturally available to the animal and therefore decreases its ability to combat ruminal acidosis. This phenomenon is accentuated by an increase in perspiration and urinary losses (loss of sodium). The result is reduced feed intake, a rapid degradation in the animal's performance and health problems such as lameness and impaired fertility. To compensate for the physiological losses caused by heat stress, animals must be fed rations with a higher DCAB (between 300 and 350 mEq/kg DM, compared with 240 to 280 mEq/kg DM under normal conditions).