FARMINGTON, N.Y. (WROC) — While air conditioning comes in handy for heat on a day like today, some don’t have that luxury, including our dairy farms.
“We kind of know them pretty much individually,” Hal Adams said. He and his wife have run this dairy farm in Farmington for almost 40 years. Their farm supplies some of the Upstate Niagra co-op that provides Wegmans with a good portion of their milk and dairy products. But when they see scorching hot days during summer, they’re on are high alert.
“We give them space, we give them shade, and we give them a lot of air,” Adams said of his cows.
Cows overheat, just like humans, and they need water, just like humans. But unlike humans, cows prefer a slightly lower temperature, around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
“They drink a lot of water, up to 50 gallons a day for a milking cow for this time of year,” he said.
Dairy farmers are trained to see any signs of distress from their cows. If the cow is panting, that’s the red flag, theyre overheated, and need to cool down.
“At that point they’re overheated, that’s really how we know, and we try really hard to not let that happen,” Adams said.
If a cow really needs to be cooled down fast, farmers will give the animal a hose down.Massive fans are running all day during in the summer.
“They’re a variable speed fan that save energy,” Adams said. “When it cools off at night, they slow down and when it’s during the day when it’s very warm they run full speed.”
All of this extra effort is worth it. A happy cow, is a producing cow.
“We kind of wait on them hand and foot,” Adams said. “We bring the feed to them, and do everything we can to ensure their comfort and well-being and they repay us with high production, and we’re kind of one big happy family.”