Effects of Tropical Climate on Reproduction of Cross- and Purebred Friesian Cattle in Northern Thailand

  • Pongpiachan, P. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Rodtian, P. (National Dairy Training and Applied Research Institute, Department of Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture) ;
  • Ota, K. (Senior Volunteer of Japan International Cooperation Agency working in Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai University)
  • Received : 2002.08.20
  • Accepted : 2003.02.28
  • Published : 2003.07.01


In the first part of the study, rates of estrus occurrence and success of A.I. service in the Thai-native and Friesian crossbred, and purebred Friesian cows fed in the National Dairy Training and Applied Research Institute in Chiang Mai, Thailand were traced monthly throughout a year. An electric fan and a water sprinkler cooled the stall for the purebred cows during the hot season (March-September). Both rates in pure Friesians were at their highest in the cold-dry season (October- February), but they decreased steadily during the hot-dry season (March-May) and were at their lowest in the hot-wet season (June-September). Seasonal change of a similar pattern was observed in the incidence of estrus, but not in the success rate of insemination in the crossbred cows. By the use of reproductive data, compiled in the same institute, on the 75 % cross- and purebred Friesian cows, and climatological data in Chiang Mai district, effects of ambient temperature and humidity on the reproductive traits of cows were examined by regression analysis in the second half of the study. Significant relationships in the crossbred, expressed by positive-linear and parabola regressions, were found between reproductive parameters such as days to the first estrus (DTFE), A.I. service (DTFAI), and conception, the number of A.I. services required for conception and some climatic factors. However, regarding this, no consistent or intelligible results were obtained in purebred cows, perhaps because electric fans and water sprinklers were used for this breed in the hot season. Among climatic factors examined, the minimum temperature (MINT) in early lactation affected reproductive activity most conspicuously. As the temperature during one or two months prior to the first estrus and A.I. service rose, DTFE and DTFAI steadily became longer, although, when MINT depleted below $17-18^{\circ}C$, the reproductive interval tended to be prolonged again on some occasions. The maximum temperature also affected DTFE and DTFAI, but only in limited conditions. The effect of humidity was not clear, although the inverse relationship between DTFE and minimum humidity during 2 months before the first estrus in the crossbred seemed to be significant. Failure to detect any definite effect of climate on the reproductive traits of pure Friesians seemed to indicate that forced ventilation by electric fans and water sprinklers were effective enough to protect the reproductive ability of this breed from the adverse effects of a hot climate.


  1. Curtis, S. E. 1983. Environmental Management in Animal Agriculture. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.
  2. Humbert, J. M., P. Chantaraprateep, S. Singhajan, P. Sekasiddhi, P. Songsasen, C. Lohachit, N. Chabeuf, S. Suparattanawong and D. Planchenault. 1990. Control of reproductive disorder and monitoring of herd health programme for improvement of dairy production in Thailand. Thai J. Health Research 4:11-32.
  3. Putney, D. J., M. Drost and W. W. Thatcher. 1988. Embryonic development in superovulated dairy cattle exposed to elevated ambient temperatures between days 1 to 7 post inseminations. Theriogenology 30:195-209.
  4. Wilson, S. J., R. S. Marion, J. N. Spain, D. E. Spiers, D. H. Keisler and M. C. Lucy. 1998. Effects of controlled heat stress on ovarian faunction of dairy cattle. Lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci. 81:2124-2131.
  5. Quereshi, M. S., G. Habib, H. A. Samad, M. M. Siddiqui, N. Ahmad and M. Syed. 2002. Reproduction-nutrition relationship in dairy buffaloes. I. Effect of intake of protein, energy and blood metabolites levels. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 15:330-339.
  6. Harinmirintaranon, A., J. Sanpote and T. Prauprang. 1994. Yield and fertility relationship of crossbred dairy cows in Wangnamyen district. Proceeding of the 21th Annual Conference of the Thai Veterinary Association under Royal Patromage, Bangkok. pp.87-100. (In Thai).
  7. Pongpiachan, P., P. Rodtian and K. Ota. 2000. Lactation in crossand purebred Friesian cows in northern Thailand and analyses on effect of tropical climate on their lactation. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:1316-1322.
  8. Rodtian, P., G. King, S. Subrod and P. Pongpiachan. 1996. Oestrous behaviour of Holstein cows during cooler and hotter tropical seasons. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 45:47-58.
  9. Pongpiachan, P., P. Rodtian and K. Ota. 2003. Reproduction of cross- and purbred Friesian cattle in northern Thailand with special reference to their milk production. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:1093-1101.
  10. Chantaraprateep, P. and J. Humbert. 1993. Reproductive disorder control and herd health monitoring programme for improvement of dairy production in Thailand. Final Report on Strengthening Annual Production Research in Asia through the Application of Immunoassay Technique, Bangkok.
  11. SAS Institute Inc. 1985. SAS/STAT Guide for Personal Computers, Version 6 ed., SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina, USA
  12. Madsen, O. and K. Vither 1975. Performance of purebred and crossbred dairy cattle in Thailand. Anim. Prod. 21:209-216.
  13. National Research Council. 1988. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, 6th Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  14. Wolfenson, D., W. W. Thatcher, L. Badinga, J. D. Savio, R. Meidan, B. J. Lew, R. Braw-Tal and A. Berman. 1995. Effect of heat stress on follicular development during the estrous cycle in lactating dairy cattle. Biol. Reprod. 52:1106-1113.
  15. F. C. Gwazdauskas, W. W. Thatcher and C. J. Wilcox. 1973. Physiological, environmental and hormonal factors of insemination which may affect conception. J. Dairy Sci. 56:873-877.
  16. Trout, J. P., L. R. McDowell and P. J. Hansen. 1998. Characteristics of the estrous cycle and antioxidant status of lactating Holstein cows exposed to heat stress. J. Dairy Sci. 81: 1244-1250.

Cited by

  1. Association of ATP1A1 gene polymorphism with thermotolerance in Tharparkar and Vrindavani cattle vol.8, pp.7, 2015,
  2. Invited review: Are adaptations present to support dairy cattle productivity in warm climates? vol.94, pp.5, 2011,
  3. In vitro maturation of class I oocytes of bovine during different tropical seasons pp.1573-7438, 2019,