Dave Bray, dairy extension specialist with the University of Florida offers the following top 10 summer tips.
- Mow weeds in pastures; careless weeds in the South and thistles in the North.
- Remove mud from mud holes in lanes, gate areas and calving lots.
- Keep fly control up on all aged animals, calves and dry cows.
- Clean fans if dirty in freestall barns.
- Clean fans and adjust sprinklers or add sprinklers to the holding area; holding area cooling is a great way to cool cows or cook them.
- Clean condensers on your refrigerated units.
- Are your parlor chemicals still outside in the sun? If so your chlorine sanitizer is now yellow water. Chemicals should be under shade.
- Do you have fans in the parlor for the cows and the workers?
- Do your calves have adequate shade and plenty of fresh clean water to drink? A 6 week old calf will drink 5 gallons of water a day in hot weather. A 5 quart water bucket won’t cut it in the summer.
- Do your dry cows have access to shade? If not add shade cloth in multiple areas in the lots. Cows like to calve in private. Calving in a non-shaded mud hole in the sun is not a great way to start a lactation.
For more information, contact Dave Bray at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 392-5594 ext. 226 for more summer advice.