Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feeling hot hot HOT!


You know that song....
"Feeling hot hot hot..."
 It supposed to be a funny feel good summery song...

Our ladies (cows) don't think so!

Actually they are pretty disappointed that we (the humans) can't make this hot air that is going true the barn right now a little less hot.


Generally our ladies like it to be cool. Anywhere from 15 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is fine with them. 95 Degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 85 percent does not make them happy cows.

We try to make our girls as comfortable as possible but with weather like this it is kinda hard and it gets a little depressing. I know that they have it better inside than if they would be standing outside in the FULL SUN! But still i feel bad that i can't do more. But let me tell you  what we DID do too keep our girls cool:

We have BIG fans. The fans hang over our cows and if the temperature gets above 72 degrees, they kick on automatically. This way nobody can forget to turn them on or off and so the ladies will be a little more pleased.  BUT because of this crazy weather about 3 weeks ago we decided to add more of those big fans. (Guess what we did last Saturday and Sunday...). We have 4 pens of 200 cows and those girls are our "high cows" this means that these ladies give the most milk on the whole farm.  And these girls deserve some extra attention, so we installed 5 more fans in each pen. Also our "Close Up cows" this is the pen where the girls are who are gonna have a baby calf within 3 weeks, we put 5 more fans. We wanted to make these soon to be momma's as comfortable as possible, after all giving birth is hard enough if everything goes right, right???


We also have sprinklers. Yep, sprinklers are those things that make you feel like if you are on the beach!

If you are HOT, and your on the beach (or in your back yard) you will jump in the water and cool off. When you are cool enough you get out of the water, lay on your towel or stretcher until you get hot again so you jump in the water again. This is the same thing as what we tried to to for our cows. When they get into the "holding pen" this is the area before they are getting milked, the are closer together as in their walk/sleep/play area and the closer you are together the hotter you get. Since we don't want our girls hot, we installed sprinklers. Every 6 minutes they turn on for 3 minutes. So it's like the beach! We cool them down, and when they warm up again, we cool them down again. Generally the ladies are in and out of the holding pen and milking parlor (where they getting milked) within 45 minutes. We try to keep this time as short as possible, every girl needs her space!


Also we spray for flies! You might think, "What does this have to do with the heat?", but it is a LOT! Because of all these girls we also have quite a bit of poo. Flies just like poo. Well, and cows. And all kinds of other animals. So in the summer, like everybody else we get flies, but because our farm is a bit bigger, we are abt to have more flies. And i don't know if you noticed but lately those flies are getting MEAN! They bite! They don't bite just us, but they also bite our cows! And of course we can't have that! So two or three times a week my brother will drive with the tractor in and around all the barns and spray for flies. Last year we tried to do it with predator flies (so no chemicals) but that did not work very well. And once a week we will put a little fly control spray on our cows, so not only the living quarters of our ladies are fly free they also can't lay there nasty little eggs on our girls either! Because of all this fly control we have less flies with 2200 cows than at our own house with one horse, one baby calf and a dog and 2 cats!  Which of course makes our girls feel pretty special and at least a little less grumpy in this "horrible" weather... hehe...


So if you have that song "Feeling hot hot hot" stuck in your head for the rest of the day (yes, you can listened to it because of the linky thing and blame me!) while eating your ice cream or drinking your milk i hope you think about our girls and the girls at another farmers ranch or farm close to you, and pray for some cooler weather! Just a insy tinsy little bit....


Thank you!


59 comments:

Berts Blog said...

My Vickie is not much of a milk drinker but does like, butter, cottage cheese, ect....and she was talking to me the other day about how she wondered how the cows were doing.

She was so glad to read about how well you take care of your girls and wish that others would make such a great effort to make critteres comfortable.

Thanks so much for caring.

Bert

Lois Evensen said...

Hi Leontien,

Fascinating to see how you are keeping the girls comfy. Yes, we know that "Hot Hot Hot" song. After all, we spend six months of every year on a ship in the Caribbean. We sure do know that tune!

And, I will think grateful thoughts at my next meal when I drink a glass of milk.

:),
Lois

Larkrise garden girl said...

Leontien, What a heat wave. It is so interesting to see how a dairy farm works. You should be a spokewomen for dairy farms you explain how they run so well. It sure makes me realize how much work goes into a glass of milk.Cheri

Garden of Egan said...

That is quite a feat to keep that many cows happy. I bet they are loving it!.
Brilliant!

Sharon said...

This seems like a good effort to help the cows "keep their cool". I bet they appreciate it!

texwisgirl said...

i wish everyone tended to their animals like you do! how great of you to install all of the new fans and sprinklers. :)

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Glad you're helping your girls keep as cool as they can be:) We very rarely have temps into the 90's where I live in northern CA, but today is one of those days...our girls will be hanging out in their freestall barns.

Louise said...

You certainly do all that you can to keep your girls cool and fly free. I'm sure that they show their appreciation by giving you lots of good, fresh milk. Thanks for the very interesting view inside of how a well run dairy farm works.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I always wanted to try those predator flies. Good to know they don't work. We've had success with a supplement that keeps eggs from hatching in the poop. But it's pricey (and we only have to buy enough for 3 horses - can't imagine how expensive that would get for all those cattle). Seems like you treat your girls very well :-)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I've been reading about all of the heat up north of us (we are hot enough here --but nothing like you all are)--and I have wondered about all of the ranch/farm animals.

Glad you are doing all that you can to keep your 'girls' happy... I know it's hard on you... I am praying for some relief from this heat.

Hugs,
Betsy

Alica said...

It's quite a job to keep the ladies happy, isn't it?! We have a tiny farm compared to yours, but it's still challenging. The fans are on all day, and they go out at night, which helps. Today and tomorrow are to be near 100 degrees, with high humidity...I think it's actually cooler in the barn than in our house!

Mo Pie, Please said...

Poor cows!

Laoch of Chicago said...

I could use one of those fans for my apartment today!

Jill said...

Oh I feel their (and your) pain! We finally have a little relief here today. It's "only" 88 and the humidty is much less. I hope it cools off your way sooner than later.

~mel said...

Nothing worse than a sad cow ~ keep those girls happy. Sounds like life's a beach for them at your dairy :)

Clint said...

I've never seen a hot, sick cow;

I never hope to see one...

I'll tell you this right here and now---

I'd rather see than be one. :)

Kim said...

Sprinklers, fans, bet they are happier with you than you think.

Melodie said...

Yes,this weather is not fit for man nor beast! Glad you all are set up to deal with this heat wave! We are not set up for cold down here and the last 2 winters were very cold and everyone was scrambling to take care of our homes and animals.

rainfield61 said...

You have big fans in your farm, and you have many fans in the cyber.

Hope all these can help.

(grin).

That Janie Girl said...

That is awesome y'all take such good care of "your girls"...

Happy cows!

Sandi said...

I have thought back to my hogs these past few days. Before my accident, I managed our large farrow to finish hog operation. I would have been pulling out dead animals due to heat like this. We phased out of hogs a few years ago. I miss those animals, but during this kind of weather, I am thankful to not have them. My thoughts and my prayers go northward toward you!

Kim said...

I do feel sorry for those of you suffering though the heat wave. It is supposed to be heading this way in the next week but so far this summer has been wet and cold.
But for your sake I hope yu stay safe and cool.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I was feeling sorry for the cows in the field across the road from us today but they seemed 'okay' in the shade--I so admire you for going that extra mile and making sure your cows are cared for and as comfortable as possible--I think you could make one of those 'happy cows' commercials!!

Elizabeth Grimes said...

You sure do take good care of your ladies. They're very lucky animals.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Those fly systems are fantastic when they work. It did not work well at our old barn, but at the new one, it works and I rarely ever see a fly :D

Michaele said...

I had that song in my head yesterday. It seems to be the only way to start a blog these days. I hope it cools off enough that you can get some reprieve. What I do know about feeder cattle (not dairy) is that if you turn on the sprinklers, you gotta leave them on. The cattle get used to it and then have to have it. I imagine yours are getting used to it too.

Julia said...

I wish that we had your setup to keep our cow happy when the heat wave hit us but unfortunately our milk production will drop for sure. JB

Dreaming said...

Oh my, I am laughing because I just took the last bite of an ice cream sandwich as you mentioned it....
I'm so glad you have the fans and sprinklers. I heard on the radio that they have lost a bunch of cows in Kansas, and they haven't hit their hottest time of the summer yet.

Clipped Wings said...

Amazing how super complicated dairy farming is. You take such good care of your babies. I know they greatly appreciate it.

Farmchick said...

Nice to see you keeping those ladies comfortable. We also spray our small herd for flies. They are terrible!

missing moments said...

You take such good care of your girls! I remember we had a big spray pump type can we would spray our few cows with. Sure helped keep the flies off!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, yeah, those stinking flies can bite!! Buggers! Y'all are doing a wonderful job of giving the girls every chance to stay comfortable in the miserable heat. Happy cows are more productive cows! Enjoyed this post, Leontien! Keep up the good work. blessings ~ tanna

Susan said...

I loved reading about your girls and everything to do with them. Thank you.
Yes, I wish for some cooler weather - for all of you. Cheers!

Sandra said...

I am so happy for your cows that they live with humans that know what the word humane is. loved reading about your cows as always. great idea for the sprinklers. we are fighting flies and mosquitoes and nasty little gnats right now. they love heat and humidity. 2 days ago the humidity dropped really low and so did the bugs, they came back mean and biting when the humidity climbed.

Buttons said...

A fascinating post as we have beef cattle that roam the bush. I always wondered how you would keep that many ladies cool. Our cows are panting most days they lay in the bush a lot. The deer flies are bad so I don't know how they stand it. I hope our weather changes soon.
Thanks for the song bouncing around in my head for the day. B

don said...

Your cows have very good owners. I like how you've added more fans and are using sprinklers to cool them down. A fine post…I hope it cools down soon!

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

Wow you really take care of your girls, we are in the 100's here.
Yes HOT,HOT,HOT!

bon bon said...

good for you, making the girls more comfortable! i hope some cooler temps come your way soon!

Out on the prairie said...

Seeing a lot of livestock in ponds, it needs to stop.I have felt trapped in the AC , I get up early to go outdoors.

Debbie said...

it sure is hot, hot, hot!!! lucky girls....i enjoyed reading this!!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I am glad they are surviving the heat somewhat....good for spraying for flies.

Dawn said...

Oh this brings back memories...
We used to have milk cows a few years ago. And we NEVER got the heat you do...but it was bad enough the heat we did get! The flies are awful!!!
So nice of you to put in fans and sprinklers:)))

Brian said...

Yep, I'll be humming that song, and it really is hot, hot, hot! Glad you are helping cool down those Moo ones!

camp and cottage living said...

Leontien, you are such a good caretaker to your cows. It does my heart good that you give them much consideration and love.
These details are all new to me about raising dairy cows, but so interesting. I'm learning alot!
Thanks for dropping by my place today too!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Interesting post, Leontien. I know about the fly spray and fans, but not the sprinklers. You are so very kind to your girls. :)

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, my, you are good to the cows. So often people don't think of the suffering of animals in extreme weather. It would flatten me to have that kind of weather. The poo would be the finishing touch. Good on you for getting in those extra fans.

Stasha said...

Ah, Tobermory a cow on your farm. I will even let you spray me for bugs...

lisa said...

Oh, these poor sweet things.
It has been awfully hot here also.
I sure hope things cool off for them and for you very soon.

One said...

You have a pretty bunch of fortunate cows. It must be costly to install so many fans and sprinkler.

Do you turn those cow dung into organic fertilizer?

Roan said...

Lucky cows! It's been raining here in Illinois, and it has cooled off some. Hopefully you are getting some of the same cooler weather.

Chinatours said...

It is also hot hot hot in my hometown--Hefei, Anhui Province, China. How can be the sun so hot? Greetings from China. Have a nice day.

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

Oh Boy!!!! Another Kindred FarmGal Spirit! I grew up on a cattle ranch/farm...we grew lots of hay, and some of my favorite posts on CITexas Gal are about 'The Heifers'. Enjoyed this post about 'Ya'll's Gals'...they certainly deserve the Fanin' and Sprinklin'! Thanks for stopping by and becoming a Follower...I'll be Following you, too, and look forward to more of your Lucky Tales!

Lori Skoog said...

You know the song "Nobody does it Better?" That would be you and your family. I'm sure all your ladies are happier and healthy because of all you do for them. Kudos! Heaven on earth for cows.

Katie @Pinke Post said...

WOW this is a great post Leontien! I love the detail and description you gave. I hope the air cools soon for you and the girls!

A Rosy Note said...

Sounds like you take such good care of your girls. It has been so HOT here too. A bit of a cool down would be nice :)

Aunt Amelia said...

Dear Leontien,
Thank-you-much, for leaving a comment on my "Aunt Amelia's Attic" blog on Wordpress. Thank you!

And I am so happy that you take such good care of your "ladies"! Yes Ma'am, I am! We humans tend to only think of ourselves, in this heat/humidity. And we moan and sigh a bit (or a lot!). And we forget the animals.

Well, I hope that pet owners don't forget their animals, but.... You know what I mean. :-)

In the NE, in "my neck of the woods," it's cooler this Monday. I certainly hope your area, gets relief too.

Gentle hugs...

Veronica Lee said...

It's hot hot hot here all year round with average temps in the 90s!! Your cows are soooo lucky! Love this post.

Beadwright said...

I love cows! This was a great post.
Nicole/Beadwright

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