Many dairies provide cows with cooling misters that usually run the length of feed bunks. But no one really knows when and where cows prefer to use the misters. So, researchers with the University of California-Davis Department of Animal Science are examining how dairy cows make use of cooling showers. They also are studying whether those showers reduce stress and increase milk production.

The researchers have constructed cow-sized showers that the animals can turn on and off, simply by stepping on and off of a pressure-sensitive platform. Hopefully, the research will give animal scientists and producers a better idea of how and when cows prefer to make use of cooling water, as well as how water affects body temperature and other measures of cow comfort.