Reducing Summer Heat
Reducing summer heat is cumbersome to stay on top of and at times feels like a losing battle. But if neglected it will certainly eat into your cost of production.
I want to provide you with practical tips on how to keep your cows cool and relaxed during the summer heat.
- Clean fan blades, shrouds, and shutters keeps the air moving throughout the barn & unrestricted.
- Tighten fan belts and replace if necessary.
- Make sure all fan fittings are greased and bearings are sound.
- Clean sprinkler system tips and remove any buildup so that it has an acceptable spray pattern onto the cow and away from feed.
- Sprinkler tips should put out droplets that penetrate the cow or heifers’ hair coat rather than spray a fine mist. Excess water on the hair will trap more heat.
- Monitor sprinkler timing settings to conserve water and avoid adding unnecessary water to the cow’s environment. Once the hair coat is penetrated, evaporative cooling can take place. Air flow for evaporative cooling is the absolute key.
- Sprinklers should be set up so that the top, down to the lower to mid-level of the front part of the rib cage is saturated under the hair coat from bunk line sprinklers.
- In holding areas (as well as at bunk line sprinklers), the under belly and sides of the udder should never be wet.
*Photo courtesy of Kinnard Farms