Heat Stressing Animals

By: Philip Townsend Email
By: Philip Townsend Email

Some farmers say heat stress is affecting dairy production from cows. Lower productions could mean more money out of consumers' pockets.

However, one local farmer has found a way to keep the cows cool and production up, despite scorching 90 degree temperatures keeping many people inside with the air conditioning.

Dairy cows don't have that kind of convenience, and some farmers say the heat is getting to their animals.

Dairy Nutritionist Edward Clar says, "If there is reduced milk production that means there is less available. Thus prices can be effected. So this ultimately comes back to you and I who buy milk everyday."

Home Place Dairy Farm wants to put an end to the heat stress on cows. Farmer Sam Goering found a way to keep his cows cool.

He says, "We provide shade, we provide water, and we also provide fans."

Veterinarian Andy Holloway adds, "Using water and fans to cool the cow, we're making her more comfortable and in turn she's providing us more milk and therefore more profit."

While the concept seems simple, many farmers haven't caught on to this heat-fighting triple threat.

Holloway says, "A lot of people think the best place for a dairy cow is out on the pasture, but if you gave these cows the option to go out there on that pasture in the sun or stay here in this barn, I promise you, they'll take the shade, the fans, the sprinklers any day of the week."

There are some signs people can look for to see if heat is stressing cows. These signs include standing more, bunching together or slobbering. Farmers are encouraged to use fans, shade, and sprinklers to keep their cows cool.

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