Are there benefits of Dry Cow cooling?
According to studies by Geoffrey Dahl at the University of Florida, heat-stress has a massive impact on dry cows.
- Profound drop in milk yield in that next lactation when animals are heat-stressed for the entire dry period
- cows that were cooled had developed significantly more milk-producing cells than cows that were under heat stress.
- Higher incidence of Mastitis incidence, respiratory disease, retained fetal membranes for cows that had dry periods during hotter months.
- Cows under heat stress during the dry period calve sooner.
- Calves born to heat-stressed dams had lower blood IG concentrations than calves born to cooled dams.
- The heat-stressed calves still had lower absorption rates than calves born to cooled dams.
- Calves born to heat-stressed dams are more likely to leave the herd before puberty.
- Calves from heat-stressed cows that made it to the first lactation produced less milk than calves from cooled cows
Between 2008 and 2013, six studies were conducted by the University of Florida. All Showed cooled cows had
- Higher milk yield in cows cooled during the dry period compared to non-cooled dry period cows.
- The increase in milk ranged from 5.1 to 16.5 pounds per day
In addition to the increased milk production, cooled cows
- consumed more feed at calving,
- the birth weights of calves were approximately 13 pounds heavier
- the weaning weights were 27.7 pounds heavier
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO COMBAT THE EFFECTS OF HEAT STRESS IN DRY COWS?
CowKühlerZ offers a precision solution to heat stress in the dry cow area. The system is a fully automated, efficient and effective cooling solution for heat stress for dry cows. Most systems on the market use large amounts of water soaking the cow; these systems turn on once the temperature is already high, and the cows are already in heat stress. Heat abatement is less effective than heat stress prevention.
Most evaporative cooling systems on the market are mounted along the feed bunk so for the cow to benefit from the water-cooling cows must stand for long hours at the feed bunk, which increases bunk space competition and the instances of fall lameness later in the year.
The CowKühlerZ system uses 0.56 Gal/cow/hr at 100% operation. That is a fraction of what other systems use. The variable speed fan can be programmed to start at 30% and speed up as the temperature-humidity index (THI) increases.
The EC Direct drive motor is incredibly energy efficient and operates on a fraction of the power that a panel or box fan uses.
The CowKühlerZ system is installed over the beds or bedding pack, and cows are being cooled where we want them to spend most of their time. Multiple studies have proven that every hour of laying time can mean an increase in production of 1.7 kgs. As temperatures rise beyond the pre-programmed levels, the ultra-fine droplets are injected into the focused airstream creating "imitation sweat." This evaporation creates a chemical reaction that causes a chilling effect on the cow's skin, cooling/maintaining her core body temperature.
These are a few of the unique features of the CowKühlerZ system that set it aside from other systems on the market.
Customer Testimonial from Auburn NY
We installed the CowKühlerZ system for the summer of 2019. We have 8 fans in one half of our dry cow barn, the other side of the dry cow barn has no cooling. Our cows are fitted with monitors that measure breaths per minute. The results were incredible. During a heat event, there was a significant difference between the respiration rate of the two groups. The photo below is from that day. On the CowKühlerZ side of the barn, the cows were laying down comfortable in their stalls while on the non-cooled side the cows were standing, perching and panting, visibly uncomfortable.
CowKühlerZ is making a real reduction in the heat stress levels of the cows on this farm near Auburn NY. It was really great to receive the following email from the farm manager about the difference the CowKühlerZ system is making in his Dry Cow barn...
"Attached is a video that G (the barn manager) took yesterday. The outside temperature was low 80's and very humid. Before gettings the fans install finished, many of these cows were perching in these conditions. Now they are mostly laying, resting with the new fans running.
Thanks, K(Farm Manager)"
***Here is a link to the video the farm manger took and sent to us. https://youtu.be/oCYs4cHCPjQ
If you would like to speak with this customer I can share your contact details with him and he will call you.
Heat stress studies conducted by Geoffrey Dahl at the University of Florida showed how the impact of heat stress on dry cows can impact the next lactation and beyond.
“We put cows in a heat-stress environment as soon as they were dried off and they didn’t get cooled again until they actually calved,” Dahl says. Over the six week dry period cows average a full degree increase in average body temperature over this period. “So this is a chronic elevation of body temperature and there’s never a time for a six week period where cows achieve a normal body temperature.”
When that elevation of body temperature happens over the full dry period, Dahl says, cows in the next lactation produce a lot less milk compared to cows that are cooled. “You get a pretty profound drop in milk yield in that next lactation when animals are heat-stressed for the entire dry period,” he says.
What it comes down to is the number of mammary cells developed during the dry period in cows that are heat stressed versus cows that are cooled. Udders were examined from cows at about three weeks into the dry period, and Dahl says cows that were cooled had developed significantly more milk-producing cells than cows that were under heat stress.
“That’s suggesting that there’s going to be greater capacity for milk yield in that next lactation in the animals that are cooled versus those animals that are heat stressed,” he says. “It’s not that cows that are stressed when they are dry have a more rapid loss of cells, it’s more related to cell proliferation when they are dry.”
While milk yield is one casualty of heat-stressed dry cows, immune function is another. When Dahl looked at data on a large commercial dairy, mastitis incidence, respiratory disease and retained fetal membranes were all higher for cows that had dry periods during hotter months versus cows that were dry during the winter.
“Cows that were dry during the cooler months of the year had better reproductive performance despite the fact they were at a higher level of production,” says Dahl.
Several research studies have also shown that cows under heat stress during the dry period calve sooner as well. This explains some of the reason for production differences with cows that are cooled and carry calves full term, and also explains some of the impact heat stress has on calves.
“When that cow was experiencing heat stress obviously that calf in utero is experiencing that same heat stress over the last six weeks of development,” says Dahl. Research shows that cow's heat stressed in the dry period produces lighter calves and that negative growth rate continues as the calf gets older.
Calves may have challenged immune systems as well, starting with their ability to absorb immunoglobulins (IG) from colostrum. In a study conducted by Dahl, Even though two groups of animals received the same amounts of colostrum, calves born to heat-stressed dams had lower blood IG concentrations than calves born to cooled dams.
“At first we looked at if there were certain gross differences in colostrum quality between these two groups,” says Dahl. “In fact when we look at IG concentration, levels in dams that are heat-stressed is typically at or above what we had in cooled animals, they just make less of it.”
Further examination shows that it’s not necessarily the colostrum that comes from heat-stressed dams that’s the issue. Two groups of calves from heat-stressed and cooled cows were fed colostrum from the same source, and the heat-stressed calves still had lower absorption rates than calves born to cooled dams.
“That’s pretty strong evidence that there’s a direct effect on that calf, and it’s limiting their ability to take up IG,” says Dahl.
Calves have a shift in their metabolic pathway as well and tend to shift resources to adding fat rather than lean growth which, Dahl says, could account for some of the issues that occur later in life. Calves born to heat-stressed dams are more likely to leave the herd before puberty. Calves from heat-stressed cows that made it to the first lactation produced less milk than calves from cooled cows.
“In fact, it looks like what we’re seeing is an epigenetic effect that is limiting those calves’ ability to reach their genetic potential,” says Dahl. “When we look at second and third lactation production, those calves continue to lag behind those calves if they experienced heat stress.”
There is also a transgenerational effect when the calves pass on this effect to their offspring, which Dahl says is one of the indicators of epigenetic influence.
Taking a look at the opportunities for heat stress in different areas, Dahl says the top 23 dairy states average about 90 days of potential heat stress situations each year. Given the impact heat stress has on the cow, the calf and future offspring, Dahl says it should make economic sense to cool dry cows.
“If you have a facility that just needs to be retrofitted with fans and soakers(misters) to make sure that we get those cows cooled it’s a no brainer,” he says. “It makes sense to get those cows cooled off.”
For more information on the CowKühlerZ system call, 1-844-GET-KUHL or email email@example.com or use the form below.
Consultation on barn layouts to suit your geographical location and cooling needs can be provided by our knowledgeable and experienced team. #CoolCows = #HappyCows
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