Summer is almost here and soon the temperature will start rapidly increasing! Even if there are only a few extra hot days to be wary of, cows start feeling the pressure anywhere over 240C, without any cooling methods we could be looking at loss production both now and in the future.
A cow’s comfort zone sits between -15 and 24C, any hotter and we are out of the cows thermoneutral zone and she has to use up to 30% of her energy to try remain cool. To make this easier on the herd, and give ourselves a quick reminder, here are some starting points.
Two simple things we can do to increase cow comfort and maintain appetite:
Make sure all water troughs are clean as cows need to consume up to 200+ litres of water per day. Especially focus on the trough at the exit of the dairy, as cows will often choose to get 40-70% of their daily requirement at this point.
Sprinklers and fans to cool the cows.
Cooling hows for at least one hour will have residual affects and improve post milking grazing.
Make sure droplet size is large and does not cause humidity, as this further stress the cow.
Milk earlier in the morning and in the afternoon, milking while it is hot means the cows are relieved of the hot paddock and can stand under sprinklers, then head back to graze when the sting is out of the sun.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of our ruminant experts on how we can mitigate losses this summer.
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