Cow Cooling the Dairy Farming system we use in Israel keeps your cows cool throughout the summer, making sure you have happy, healthy, and fertile cattle.
As with humans, cows need a specific temperature to be at peak health. The temperature becomes too high on dairy farms, causing female cows to lose milk production and fertility. The human body uses homeostasis to maintain its temperature. We may jump in the shower or the pool on a hot summer day whenever we feel too hot. Similarly, cows pant to cool themselves down, but cows do not sweat as we do. This is only possible until a certain point; usually, any temperature higher than 21 degrees Celsius will lead them to overheat. At the Dairy School, we present the Israeli cow cooling system to keep your cows cool and fertile all summer. This article introduces you to this innovative system and to the various stages of heat stress that your cows may be facing.
Heat Stress in Cows
The optimal body temperature of cows is 38.5 degrees Celsius. When temperatures rise, they are at greater risk of being damaged by extreme heat stress. At 39 degrees Celsius, the cow is under moderate-heavy stress. The cow is considered to be under heat stress when its body temperature is between 39.2 and 39.5 degrees celsius, and when it reaches 40 degrees celsius, the cow is said to be under “extreme heat stress”. The key to successful dairy farming is keeping your cows cool! Cooling cows is essential for dairy farms because it leads to less milk production, more disease, and lower birth rates in calves.
The Signs to Look Out For Cow Cooling
Heat stress causes symptoms and signs to appear. The signs include an elevated breathing rate, restlessness, open-mouth breathing, drooling, and isolation from the rest of the herd. Heat-stressed herds may also group together. To reduce their body temperature, cows may also stand and crowd and seek out wet and shady areas. They usually stop eating and instead drink more, and ruminating may decrease. In addition, they reduce their overall activity to conserve water and energy, as well as reduce any further increase in their body temperature. To avoid heat stress on cows, you must follow all the principles of a good dairy farm, and that includes keeping your cows cool! A system created in Israel makes this possible.
Keeping Your Cows Cool with Cow Cooling Systems
Cows do best when they have more space because, just like us, the more heat surrounds them, the more difficult it is for them to lower their body temperature. Aside from this, by implementing this system, you ensure that your cows can remain cool and healthy. The Idia keeps your cows cool with excellent showers and a comfortable breeze. As you might expect, it is a complex process because water drops need to be precise in size to have maximum efficiency. In addition to this, wind speed is also essential.
Cow Cooling The Specific Guidelines to Follow
In dairy farming, there are guidelines that must be followed. This is especially important when it comes to keeping your cows cool. There are two primary components of the system: wetting the cows and drying them. We lead the cows first to the area where showers take place.
Water: Wetting your Cows
The following components are necessary for effective cooling: first, your cows need at least 1.5 meters of space, and 2 meters is ideal. Water must be spread evenly and in large drops. Recommended shower time is shorter as possible until the cow is wet: This ensures coat penetration, which is key to heat reduction. Using mist may cool the cows temporarily, but using big drops evenly will help the water penetrate the cow’s skin, which provides a prolonged cooling effect. Remember that the showers need to be the right size for the cows, and the water droplets need to be large enough. This is to make sure that only the cows’ backs and sides are wet. These can then be dried in the next step, which we do in the waiting room. If parts of the cow remain wet after the waiting room, their skin can become infected or can be the perfect environment that promotes fungus growth, which of course, is not something any dairy farmer wants!
Wind to Cool your Cows After Wetting
Cooling rooms or waiting rooms are where wetness and drying occur. The drying process should take place at a high, even wind speed (ideally 2m/s). Alternatively, high bulk air can be replaced. In the cooling shed, sprinklers are installed to distribute the water evenly. To dry the cows, we use circular fans (called Hercules, or basket fans), and helicopter fans as well. Basket fans have a wide airflow which is helpful for airflow indoors, such as in the waiting room. They are made for the agricultural markets specifically. They have a significant effect area (so you need fewer fans for the air to be blown a long-distance), it is easily mounted, and it has a pleasant wind-chill effect. The big helicopter fans we use to keep bugs, birds, and dust away. Most of them are maintenance-free and move air efficiently through barns.
Where Do We Do It?
We build unique cooling rooms on large farms in addition to the waiting room to allow more cows to take a shower at the same time. A key point to keep in mind is that air must circulate otherwise, the temperature in the room may be too high or may increase as the outside temperature increases. If the air is stagnant, your cattle will feel hotter and will not benefit from getting a cooling shower. A new cycle begins every time the cow’s top hair is dry. Depending on where they are located, the fans can have different shapes. For example, you can use helicopter fans for the feeding line or circular fans in the waiting room.
How Many Showers to Keep Your Cows Cool?
The waiting room is where we keep our cows before milking. We milk our cows three times a day. So, we keep our cows cool by doing these three cooling cycles every day. Depending on the weather, we may have to perform this more often and to add a few more cooling cycles. This is why dairy farming professionals should pay good attention to the signs of heat stress mentioned earlier.
When Should You Start the Next Cooling cycle?
As soon as the top hair on the cow’s back has dried, plan to cool it again.
Who Is moving the Cows to the cooling room?
Showering the herd several times a day is a full-time job. We have a dedicated worker who gently takes the cows to the cooling room and then returns them to their shed. Remember, this is a full-time job for a commercial herd.
Is the cow cooling systems operating in a high-humidity environment?
According to our experience, this cooling method works well in high and low humidity environments.
It is essential to follow specific measurements and units for the system to work correctly. To know more about this, join our next dairy herd management seminar, where we cover all topics from dairy farming management to feeding and, of course, how to keep your cows cool in the hot summer months. Join today!
Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us.