There are several reasons why farmers choose to house their cows in barns. Here are some of them.
1. One reason, relevant to this hot summer we are currently experiencing, is how cows handle hot weather. Cows, like other mammals, are warm blooded and need to maintain a constant core body temperature. The normal body temperature for a dairy cow is around 38oC. Cows feel hot 10-15oC sooner than we do meaning heat stress is a very real event for a cow who has a lack of shade or shelter to avoid the worst of the summer sun. Cows are most comfortable when the temperature is between 4-20oC and a barn is an ideal way to provide cow’s with a cooler environment.
2. Cow’s can also get sunburnt which is another reason to ensure they have protection from the worst of the sun’s UV rays.
3. Farmer’s wanting to increase their production have a couple of options, one being to buy more land on which they can dairy and another is to get more from the land and facilities they already have. One way to do that is to build a barn on their farm in which to house their cows. That way with the cows being fed ad-lib and not having to walk any great distance to the milking shed, production invariably increases.
4. Any farmer considering taking advantage of the premiums paid by milk processors for the supplying them with winter milk would be prudent to consider a barn. It allows the farmer to keep his cows warm, sheltered, well fed and producing through the coldest months of the year.
5. A barn cows’ diet can be tailor-made for the time of year and its reproductive cycle. If the farmer wants to extend his herd’s milking season through the shoulders they can ensure that the cow receives a diet suitable to achieve that goal. Through a total mixed ration is also a convenient way to administer minerals to the herd knowing that wastage is going to minimal.