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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 03, 2012, 08:32 PM

Keeping cows cool means more milk for the producer

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - In this stifling heat, people can usually find shade or air conditioning to keep cool. Milk producers are finding they have to treat their cows like they would their children on a hot, summer day. They give them everything but a Slip-N-Slide.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - In this stifling heat, people can usually find shade or air conditioning to keep cool. Milk producers are finding they have to treat their cows like they would their children on a hot, summer day. They give them everything but a Slip-N-Slide.

When NDSU students Amy McConnel and Courtney Beer round up the Holsteins in the middle of the day, it is not for milking, yet. Because of the heat, the milk cows are being treated to their own day spa. That's right - a light mist of water. A spray and spritz to cool them down, and it's for good reason.

Todd Molden - NDSU Diary Specialist: "If they are miserable they just want to lay down, and then they are not eating. If they’re not eating, they’re not producing milk."

Like most of us when it is hot and sultry, the humidity tends to zap us of energy. So, it is hoped the spray of water will cool the cow's core down. Misting down these cattle during the heat is not only the humane thing to do, but smart from a business stand point when it comes to milk production.

Todd Molden: "They could be looking at probably ten to fifteen, to twenty pounds per day, which if you put that over an extended period of time, that’s an awful lot of milk each cow is going to produce.”

These days, every pound of milk in the bulk tanks means dollars signs to the milk producer, and that monthly milk check.

NDSU experts also say reducing flies, and providing adequate shade are also important for reducing stress in cattle herds.

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