Editor's note: The following article was originally published by the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association.

Previous years of hot weather provided very important learning lessons for calf and heifer raisers. Heat abatement during high temperatures is important for keeping calves and heifers comfortable and growing.

Some tips for helping your herd deal with hot weather may include:

  • Decrease solar load by providing shade
    • Heat abatement structures do not have to be new or expensive. A pre-existing structure can be altered to provide air exchange and increase natural ventilation.
  • Increase convective cooling
    • This may be as simple as clearing a side wall and removing the metal to provide air exchange
  • Increase evaporative cooling capabilities
    • Install mechanical ventilation - for example have high motor fans circulation fans to increase cooling and air velocity
      • Fans should be mounted over the cows
  • Add evaporative cooling
    • Increase water space - provide an additional drinking station
    • This may include installing timed sprinklers in stalls
      • Sprinklers provide direct cooling for cows while using a low pressure system and can be added in in the holding area or return lane

Be proactive and consider heat abatement techniques to implement in your facility.

Click here for a detailed webinar discussing Hot Weather Management in Freestall and Tie Stall Dairies

Source: Penn State University. (Dan McFarland, John Tyson and David Wolfgang, VMD). (2012). Hot Weather Management in Freestall and Tie Stall Dairies. [Video webcast]. In Technology Tuesdays Webinar Series.