The Physics
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Temperature of a Healthy Cow

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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MacDonald, David. Mammals. Oxford: Equinox, 1984: 545. "… their rumin contents ferment at 104 °F. This central heating system means that some breeds do not have to generate extra heat." 40.0 °C
"Body Temperature." Academic American Encyclopedia. New York: American Encyclopedia, 1994: B 357. "Body Core Temperatures in some Mammals. Cattle - 101.5 °F" 38.6 °C
IACUC Learning Module - Cattle. University of Arizona Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. "Max temp: 102.5 °F, Min temp: 100 °F, Avg. Temp: 101.5 °F" 37.8 - 38.6 °C
"Animal Heat." Encyclopedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1965: A 965. "The body temp of animals are 100-103 °F, Cattle, sheep, dog, cat, rabbit and pig" 37.8–39.4 °C
Open Holding Pens - A Need for Summertime Shade. Michigan Dairy Review - August 1997. Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "The normal physiological processes of the dairy cow require that a cow's body temperature be maintained within narrow limits, 101 to 103øF [sic] for normal comfort." 38.3–39.4 °C

The normal core body temperature of a healthy, resting cow is stated on average to be 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.6 degrees Celsius). Though the body temperature measured on an individual cow can vary, a healthy cow can maintain a fairly consistent body temperature that is around the mark of 101.5 °F (38.6 °C).

The normal range of a cow body temperature varies due to many factors. The cow's environment has a huge effect on its body temperature. The time of day and how active the cow is also affects cow's core temperature. Body temperature also varies at different parts of the cow's body. The extremities are obviously cooler than the organs. For example the temperature of the inner organs, including the brain, varies by 1.8 to 3.6 °F (1 to 2 °C), and there may be gradients of a few degrees within and between organs. Skin temperatures are usually 18 to 36 °F (10 to 20 °C) below the core temperature, depending on the cow's hide. Another factor is time of day. A cow's body temperature is lower in the morning, due to the rest the body received and higher at night after a day of muscular activity. According to the studies of M.A. Lammoglia and R.A Bellows, Hormone interactions before and after calving also affect the body temperature.

The average body temperature of a cow is most likely 101.5 ° F (38.6 °C). A cow's body temperature must be maintained within narrow limits in order to sustain its physiological processes. According to the research, the range is found to be 100 to 104 °F (37.8 °C to 40.0 °C).

Pei Jun Chen -- 1998