Solar radiation can be both beneficial and harmful during cold and hot periods, respectively. Heat stress causes many problems for livestock industries, especially for beef and dairy cattle. The economic losses and animal welfare concerns resulting from these issues are consistently rising as well. In response to these concerns, researchers at Kansas State University have developed a method for decreasing solar heat radiation & absorption on animals in hotter climates and increasing heat absorption in colder climates through the application of a highly solar reflective or absorptive material to the hair and hide of the animal.
This method uses of the application of a solar reflective or absorptive material-based liquid (or dust) and a non-toxic adhesive to bind the material to the hide or hair of the animal. It is believed that the material can be easily applied to larger numbers of animals in feedlots as well as individual animals using various application systems, including pressurized sprayers, brushes, or rollers. Once applied, the material remains effective for several days; reducing or absorbing heat radiation over this period of time.
- Mitigates the effects of stress from heat and cold
- Lower level of fixed costs than other methods for heating and cooling
- Provides for application flexibility among feedlots, pens, and animals
- Applicable to a wide range of animals such as feedlot cattle and zoo animals
- Beneficial in both hot and cold climates
- Potential reduction in horn flies and other insects
PCT application filed in April 2016.