Now is the Time to Get Your Herd Ready for Hot Weather

David Balbian, Area Dairy Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 1, 2014


  • Check over & clean your fans and other ventilation equipment to be sure it is in proper working order so that it is ready when you need it.
  • Consider installing tunnel ventilation in your tie stall barn. You can contact me for an unbiased assessment of your needs. I can spec out fan capacity needs and inlet requirements.
  • Water intake goes up during hot weather. Be sure plenty of water is available. Cows like to drink right after they are milked. Cows will almost always stop to drink water when leaving the milking parlor or when leaving a tie-stall barn right after milking. If you can strategically place a water tub near that exit path it will prove to be beneficial.
  • Open up sidewalls on free stall barns. Sidewall curtains are popular, but simply removing the siding will do the same thing. 
  • Fans in free stall barns should be located in the holding area, over the stalls, and over the area where cows stand to eat at the feed bunk. 
  • If you have an adequate water supply, sprinklers add an extra measure of relief to cows in free stall housing. 
  • The use of fans and sprinklers need to be coordinated and designed to work properly together. Consult with someone experienced with these systems to be sure your system is operating properly. A poorly designed system can do more harm than good!
  • If you employ intensive rotational grazing and do not have enough pasture to totally satisfy your herd's forage needs, you may want to consider grazing at night only. This assumes you have tunnel ventilation in the barn to keep the cows comfortable during the day. 



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