Cows do not like to be cold any more than any other animal. You can see them huddle up in winter outside, trying desperately to stay warm and rolling in their own fresh manure for warmth. Because cows are trying to stay warm, they are not interested in moving outside the huddle to eat, even if they are hungry. Cows that do not eat and use their own body fat to stay warm do not produce milk, or they do not produce the amount of milk you expect them to. If you want to increase, or at least maintain, milk production on your farm during the bitter cold winter months of Canada, you have a few solutions.
Generators and a Heated Barn
Short of buying every one of your cows a heating blanket (and how silly would that be!), you can utilize generators to power electric heaters in your barn. The cows will happily wander in from the cold and stand in a milking stall an hour before milking time, at which point you can get them to eat and drink enough to fill all four of their stomachs. The biggest advantage with this solution is that you do not have to tap your home's power and run up a giant bill, plus you can shut the generators off any time. The generators can also act as a backup power source for your lights, milking equipment and refrigerated milking tanks.
Heated Water Troughs
Since it takes more of your herd's energy to warm themselves after drinking frozen water on a cold day, they will produce less milk to conserve that energy to stay warm. By providing them with heated water troughs, which can also be powered by a generator, the cows will drink more, shiver less, and produce more milk. Unless your cows are all sick and have a fever, cold water is not a necessity in winter. The warm water will be just as satisfying to their thirst and help their systems produce better milk.
Installing and Maintaining a Generator for a Warm Barn and Heated Troughs
If you do not have generators powering your barn's basic electrical needs already, an electrician (such as one from Southern Rewind Ltd generators in lethbridge) can help you make the conversion and connect the barn to a generator (or two). When you finally start it for the winter, be sure to start the generator on a relatively comfortable but cool day in late fall. Keep it running through most of the winter with maintenance provided by the same electrician that helped you install it. If you are also running heated water troughs off of a generator, it is a good idea to have a separate generator for the troughs. Then, if you lose power in the barn, your cows will still have warm water to drink. They can still produce more milk than they would without both the warm barn and the heated water.Share
3 June 2015
Are you looking for a way to cut the cost of living? Have you considered growing your own food during the summer months? Growing produce during the summer can help reduce your grocery costs throughout the year. My site is filled with advice and tips that can help you grow a healthy garden full of many fruits and vegetables. You will also learn how to can and freeze the produce so that you can use it to get through the winter months when growing season has ended. It is my hope that you will take the information provided to you and grow a beautiful garden filled with delicious produce and enjoy them all year round.