When temperature rises, cows will start to experience heat stress. This will cause a lost in appetite and a drop in milk production. Here are some tips to help cool the cows:
1) Drinking water
Research has shown that cows under shade has a 10 - 20% increase in milk production as compared to those without shade.
For high producing cows, shade is crucial.
However, do not neglect heifers and dry cows or sick cows as well. Ensure they have shade when needed.
Fans are useful tool to help remove heat.
Choose fans that are abut 36 - 48 inches wide and place them 8 feet off the ground, 20 feet apart.
Ensure that fans are spread evenly across the barn to help create good airflow in all areas.
Sprinklers combine with fans will provide the best heat removal in most commercial barns by using evaporation to help cool the cows.
A good sequence is to have sprinklers on for about 3 minutes for the cows to soak the water.
After that, allow the fan ample of time to evaporate and cool the animals.
Sprinklers should not be close to the bed as it will increase moisture which will cause mastitis.
Farmers are also advised to use misters when possible.
Misters can be attached to fan over the beds to provide evaporative cooling of air in the barn.
Misters are designed in such a way that they evaporate before settling on the beds.
These systems work best in low humidity and high airflow environments. It should not be used in high humidity or closed environment.