The high heat has Valley dairy owners concerned

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cows are cooled off with misters once we reach 80-degrees. And as the temperatures rise, the intervals become shorter.

The cows at one Hanford dairy look forward to their regular cooling off periods. Misters and fans kick on every five minutes for 45 seconds to keep them comfortable in the intense heat.

"We're putting on just enough water to get the water running down the belly of the cow," said Brian Medeiros, dairy operator.

Medeiros says cows prefer weather in the 70's and under. "The cows themselves will start saying, 'Hey, I'm not making milk for you because I'm hot and I want to cool down.' So we've seen about a 10% production drop over the last month as the hot weather has come in."

The cows didn't literally say, that but they do eat more when they're not stressed by the heat. Medeiros had his milk barn remodeled to keep his cows cool. "So we've got soakers that come on and put about 10 gallons of water on top of each of the cows to make sure we can get them to cool down and then we have fans that blow across them. Kind of works like a natural air conditioner on the cows."

The cows, all 2,400 of them, are milked three times a day. Brian also held a heat stress training session to remind his employees to look out for each other as valley temperatures rise. "Watch how you're feeling. Watch how you're sweating. Make sure you're drinking water at least every 30 minutes."

Medeiros says cows can deal with the heat much better than humans. null
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