Valley dairies keep cows cool in the heat
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The rise in temperature has valley dairy operators taking safety precautions. Not only does intense heat decrease production, it can also threaten the cows' health.
Keeping them cool is a priority.
The cows on Dino Giacomazzi's Hanford dairy hustle to the barn because they know what awaits them - a cool drenching.
As part of the evaporative cooling system, sprinklers automatically kick on when the temperature reaches 78-degrees.
The fans start blowing once it warms up to 70-degrees.
The full body soaking makes it look as if the cows are standing around in a car wash.
Dino Giacomazzi explained, "We wet the cows and then the water stops and then the air blows on the cows and as the fans evaporate the water it pulls the heat away from the cow."
Giacomazzi lost several cows in 2006 because of a heat wave.
He says an upgraded cooling system will keep that from happening again. He added, "A cow will start to exhibit signs of heat stress at around 78 degrees, which means she's just breathing a little heavier to order to keep herself cooled, kind of like how a dog pants."
Misters invite the cows to come over to have a cool meal. Keeping cows comfortable is key. Otherwise, they won't eat so they won't produce as much milk.
Giacomazzi said, "One way we know that the cows are being affected by this is watching them chewing their cud because when a cow is chewing her cud she's happy."
With so many fans in place, the barn no doubt is the coolest place on the dairy.
ag report, agriculture, hanford, ag watch, dale yurong
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