Keeping Cattle Cool with Structural Changes
Making a few structural changes can significantly help to increase the level of comfort for your cattle during the hot summer months. When considering how to make these changes, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Studies have found that cattle provided with shade in their pastures have a 10 to 20 percent increase in milk production. Therefore, finding ways to provide shade is not only beneficial in terms of keeping your cattle healthy, but also aids in milk production. Trees are excellent providers of natural shade, but you might also want to consider adding simple shade structures in your pasture.
Increase Holding Pen Space
The holding pen is one of the hottest places on the dairy farm due to the high density of cows, which results in radiating heat. To prevent this heat transfer, you need to maintain a minimum of 36 to 48 square feet of space for each cow. If increasing the size of your holding pen space is not possible, consider bringing up smaller groups at a time instead.
Adding Tunnel Ventilation
Adding tunnel ventilation along with cooling cells can significantly reduce the heat in your barn. Often, this combination will make the barn 10 degrees cooler than outside.