Help Your Herd Thrive in Summer Heat
Heat and stress are just facts of life in summer. Yes, even in the upper Midwest, 100°F and hotter temperatures have been recorded. Plan ahead!
STRATEGIES TO TAKE THE “STRESS” OUT OF THE HEAT
1. Cows are cool weather animals. They prefer temps below 55°F. At 68°F milk production and feed intake begin to slip downward. Get adequate ventilation in place now to keep cows more comfortable and productive. See your equipment provider for more specifics. Also, water misters in conjunction with a high performance ventilation system can provide much needed heat relief. They provide a “car radiator effect” by evaporating water off of the cows. Frank Regan of Regancrest, Waukon, IA, and customer on Udder Program products comments, “Spray misters can really help cut down on cow heat stress. The downside is they can help elevate SCC (somatic cell count) some.” Instead of their usual 90-100 SCC on 900 head, with misters on they often go up 10-30,000 SCC, he adds. A side note: do not allow cows to crowd together. This only increases body heat. Cows with body temps 103°F and above are in the red zone and need spraying with cool water repeatedly.
2. Water supply. Make sure there is sufficient water, volume, and pressure for your herd size. A high producing cow can drink 20 gallons or more per day. A good idea: get water tested now and every 6 months for pathogens and especially iron bacteria and mineral content. Some top nutritionists balance rations based on water nutrient content.
3. Use Dairy Vita Pak. In TMR or hand fed, DVP has shown to help maintain good feed intake and estrus cycles, conception, milk production and components, and immune system health for prevention of many herd health disorders. When temps 80°F and up many feed one ounce DVP per head every AM.
4. Try Rum-A-Fresh Plus. Keeps cows’ appetites sharp & milk production from fading in the heat & humidity. Pg.1
5. Feed early before the day time heat raises cow (CBT) core body temp and hinders appetite. Feeding up to 4 ounces sodium bicarb/head with the Dairy Vita Pak (DVP) and Rum-A-Fresh Plus has shown to further help stop herd milk production and health and reproduction losses. This summer, plan ahead now get a plan in place for you and your herd to be more comfortable and productive in the heat. Call now for DVP and RAF+ strategies!
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