Regardless of whether you spend your summers at the beach or in the milking shed, you’re likely no stranger to the heat we can expect over the summer months. But while many of us can put on a hat and slip into the shade when it gets too warm, farming stock don’t have that luxury and farmers are still expected to meet their production targets.
The biggest factor that can get in the way of this is heat stress. It can cause a number of separate problems, however they can all be addressed with one solution – a custom built Dairy Barn System. Let’s take a look at a few of the problems that can be mitigated with one.
Did you know that during summer, one dairy cow can drink a bath full of water each day? Multiply that by your entire herd and you can only imagine the size of the trough required and wonder how they’re going to graze if they’re spending all day drinking. Keeping the herd under cover with all the water they require on tap gives them the ability to drink when they’re thirsty and maintain a constant temperature.
Cows that don’t have to spend half their day seeking shelter from the sun produce more milk. Especially if your pastures are particularly dry even resting on the warmer ground can take its toll, but with a Dairy Barn System you’re able to keep feed much closer. This in itself can help maintain production targets and reduce the need to switch to 16 hour milking.
Research has shown that heat stress has both immediate and delayed affects, and these affects can impact reproductive cycles. Across 12 dairy farming states in the USA, minimising heat stress with ample cooling systems accounted for an average increase in ‘days open’ (the number of days a cow is fertile and in heat) of between 7 days in cooler Washington and almost 60 days in sunny Florida (University of Wisconsin, 2016).