Minimizing heat stress is a goal of every dairyman. Tunnel or cross ventilated barns have given us a cow comfort standard that we can try to attain in many barns. There have been improvements in air movement and sprinkler systems in most dairies. But what else can we do?
1. Feeding more digestible forages. Low quality forages stay in the rumen longer and produce more heat than high quality forages.
Target these mineral levels in summer:
DCAD At least 300 meq/Kg
2. Lowering stocking density. If possible, especially in pre- and post-fresh pens. This will help reduce metabolic disease incidence.
3. Provide shade. Cows under stress are light sensitive and bunch up in areas away from sunlight. Shade cloth on outside walls or lowering the lower curtain can allow cows to spread out.
4. Feed multiples time a day. Feeding multiple times a day will keep fresh feed in front of cows and ensure adequate feed at night as cows will eat more in cooler temperatures.
5. Water. Waterers need to be cleaned more often in hot weather. Access to water immediately after milking is more important than ever.
Hydro-Lac Provides Hydration and Energy Support During Periods of Stress.
It’s a palatable source of blended electrolytes, multiple energy sources, minerals, vitamins, and osmolytes. From this patented technology, Hydro-Lac provides the necessary nutrients to recover from the effects of heat stress, such as dehydration, and help restore animal health for better all around productivity.
Using Hydro-Lac can improve cow performance by helping reduce milk loss due to heat stress, promote more rapid production response post-calving, and encourage feed and water intake to overcome health challenges.
Field results have shown that cows fed Hydro-Lac maintain and drink more water and have positive responses in milk production.