How much does heat stress cost you?
Excessive heat load (EHL) during the summer months can result in significant production losses and animal welfare considerations. High body heat loads can develop in dairy cows when a contamination of local environmental conditions and animal factors exceed the animal's ability to dissipate body heat.
Dairy farmers can influence the severity of head load burden placed on cows during hot conditions by implementing a range of management strategies.
Minimizing heat gain through shade should be a priority for farmers hoping to keep their cows cool. Most farmers notice falls in milk production when cows get hot. This results in substantial losses in milk income.
Shade can have a large impact on the body head load experienced by dairy herds and can improve comfort, productivity and increase profitability by contributing towards higher summer milk production.
Shade cloth minimizes solar radiation - the cows can voluntarily seek shade to off-load heat via evaporation. Shade cloth is porous so heat evaporated from cows can vent through it.
Shades sail structures can be designed to maximize ventilation and afternoon shade and can ensure that wind speeds are maximized in yard and where possible, air temperatures are kept below body temperatures.