Wow, we are only in May and it feels like we have had a few days of August! First crop is coming off and corn is being planted, spring is here! The summer forecast for BC predicts it's going to be hot & dry. This can be a harsh time for cows and other animals. Cows begin to exhibit heat stress at a much lower temperature than us. Mild heat stress can appear around 20 degrees Celsius with 50% humidity. High producing cows eat more, which in turn causes them to generate more heat.
What are signs of heat stress in cows you may ask?
Increased breathing, followed by open mouth breathing (panting) and slobbering.
Bawling, sniffing behaviour.
Clear mucous discharge
Decreased milk production and off feed.
Chin resting and rubbing.
Increased time standing
As the heat stress becomes severe, cattle will tremble and lose coordination.
Fresh air, air flow, heat exchange and fresh water are paramount to keeping cows cool when the mercury starts creeping upward. Equipment such as curtains, chimneys and fans are all effective methods of keeping cows comfortable during the summer months.
If you feel like now is the time to upgrade your current ventilation system, give us a call and we would be happy to discuss it further with you!