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Dairy farmers and dairy cows have to keep a cool head

In the summer months, dairy cows often have the problem that, due to their high milk yield, they cannot adequately dissipate the body temperature to their surroundings. In order to avoid stressful situations at high ambient temperatures, all preventive structural and technical possibilities should be used that are possible in the barn with reasonable renovation effort. This includes all measures that increase the natural air exchange, increase the air speed on the animal to a tolerable level and ensure a reduced heat input into the barn.

When all structural options have been exhausted, additional fans, air distribution systems or the use of humidification systems can be installed. However, the question of how economical the use of auxiliary ventilation is can only be answered at the individual farm level. Improvements in animal health and positive effects on reproductive processes must also be taken into account.

The DLG has summarized important measures to avoid heat stress in dairy cows in DLG Expert Knowledge Series 450. The leaflet describes preventive measures and advanced techniques for avoiding heat stress in existing stable systems and provides decision-making aids for practical use.

It can be found together with other current DLG publications at DLG Expert Knowledge - and can also be downloaded as a PDF.

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Sven Häuser

DLG Division Manager Livestock Farming and On-farm Operations