Monday, August 5, 2013

Keeping cows cool in the summer heat

Summers are hot, but the cows don't have to be. Dairy farmers put a lot of effort into keeping their cows comfortable, especially as temperatures rise. In fact, cows enjoy some of the same things you do when it comes to cooling off on a hot day.

My brother and I used to love to run through the sprinkler in the yard when we were little. It's the perfect way to cool off when it was hot out. The cows love this too. Some dairies have misters that are set by a thermostat to spray cows' backs with water when it gets to a certain temperature . Many of these dairies also have fans.

Fans + misted water = evaporative cooling = happy cows. This evaporative cooling is like air conditioning in the barns. On a hot day, these barns are some of the coolest places on the farm.

Fans keep air moving. Some farms use high speed, low volume fans and some use larger high volume low speed fans, but regardless of which they use, the point is to move hot air away from the cows.

Another way to move hot air away from cows is by having an open ridge of the barn like this dairy in Madison, Georgia, does. This helps heat abatement, or letting the hot air out of the barn. Heat rises and this helps it escape.

 A lot of people enjoy a day at the beach in the summer. So do the cows! Some cows lay on sand in their free stalls. Every day is like a day at the beach for them!

Trees and other structures provide shade in the pastures for cows. Again, cows like many of the simple things people like when it comes to cooling down on a hot day. 

Another great way to cool down on a hot day is by enjoying a scoop of your favorite ice cream with some of your favorite people. My family used to always stop at this one place on the way back from our boating adventures for the best blue bubblegum ice cream. Delicious! 

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