Ramping-up to lower heat stress

If the early-June dose of sweltering tropical heat did not hasten your plans to get cooling systems in good operating condition, maybe this photograph of one of the highly trained Holsteins at the former UNL Dairy Research Facility will nudge along those efforts. 

  • First off, ‘Beatrice’ clearly appreciates the easy access to water, though her using it to cool her feet may have made her think twice about drinking it.  Is access to drinking water a challenge for some of your cows? 
  • Then again, Beatrice appeared more interested in finding shade under the eave of this older building’s roof.  Consider ways to manage exposed drive-by bunks so feed stays fresh and cows can eat during cooler times of day. 
  • While Beatrice may not have been in position to benefit from airflow from the fan in the background, the fact that it is not operating on a hot day should remind you to check controller settings and perform basic fan maintenance (e.g. tighten belts) and repairs. 
  • I’m sure Beatrice was a mature, production-oriented gal, but I think she would have also splashed some water on herself if she could have done that while in this position.  Are your sprinkler systems or evaporative cooling pads ready to go?  Nozzles should create large droplets that quickly soak cows to the skin and dribblers should be cleaned or replaced.

While Beatrice’s milking days have long passed, your herd stands to benefit in the weeks ahead from preparations made now, before the dog days of summer arrive.  Sustained milk yield and more pregnant cows are the target rewards returned to you.

Cow standing in water trough