As I write this post it feels like the recent heat wave has eased – but the forthcoming forecast is not much cooler. Given this is June we can be certain this will not be the last heat wave. Generally last weekend was the hottest part of the week with heat loads easing as the week went on. Most farms were in the top of the ‘moderate’ heat stress category with predicted milk losses averaging 1.5 l/cow/day across all the farms. All regions suffered heat stress last week but the precise farm location and shed design had a big influence.
The hottest period in most sheds is 10:00am to 4:00pm so try and minimise animal handling in these periods and expect reduced feed intake. Shade is a vital component of any housing so make sure collecting yards and other holding facilities are shaded – even with a simple, temporary screen. Buildings with high eaves and open sides may also benefit from shades on the side-walls.