GROTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A farm in Central New York is moving to a new configuration inside their cow barns in hopes of keeping their livestock happy, so they can produce more milk.
Many people are trying anything they can to beat the summer heat this year, and cows are no different.
“Cows are most comfortable when it’s about 40 degrees,” Paul Fouts, the owner of Fouts Farms, said. “So, when it gets 65 or 70 degrees, they start to feel heat stress, and so what we do here, with fans, we blow air over them to try and cool them.”
Fouts says fans have been used ever since he can remember to keep the cows cool, but now he’s using the fans in a slightly different way.
“This barn that we’re in right now, we’re blowing across for the most part,” Fouts said. “The advantage of that is we are blowing fresh air in for the full length of the barn, rather than picking up hair and dust and stuff on the way.”
In previous years, Fouts always had his fans pointing the long-way down the barn, this was great for the livestock near the front, but the cows in the back were getting air that wasn’t nearly as clean.
Now with the new setup, which Fouts hopes to have installed in the rest of his barns, the benefits for the cows are endless.
“The more comfortable a cow is, the more milk she’ll make, but also the healthier she will be,” Fouts said. “For the younger ones, because they’re healthier, they will grow better, and they’re also easier to work with because they are happy.”
More dairy farms are starting to use this unique setup, but it’s always a work in progress as the farmers try to react to the cows.
“This is a new concept. I know of a handful of barns that are going up in New York that are trying it out,” Fouts said. “Every farm, at least our farm, is a work in progress. We’re always trying to find something to make things better, and make them more comfortable, and we will never be perfect.”
Cows on Fouts’ farm typically produce about ten gallons of milk a day, but Paul is hoping to see that number go up with his new setup.