Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cool Cows Are Comfortable Cows

My husband, Lad, in one of our freestall barns

The hot summer weather can be hard on people and cows. Typically, Holstein cows can maintain high levels of productivity between 20° and 76°F. Cows are much more tolerant of temperatures below this optimum range than above. To maintain a high level of cow comfort, every effort is made to keep cows cool to minimize stress and maximize animal well-being.

Our three freestall barns, the maternity area and the holding pen (where the cows wait to be milked) are equipped with large fans and water misters. The combination of air movement and moisture keeps cows cool on hot days.

Our freestall barns are designed and built for optimal airflow with side curtains and large roll-up doors which are open in spring, summer and fall. The barns’ natural ventilation system maintains cooler temperatures on hot days while protecting the animals from the heat of the sun.

The cows also have drinking water available to them at all times. Our goal is to create a comfortable environment so our cows are cool and content, regardless of the weather.

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