Dairy farmers say cows surviving through triple-digit heat

KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kings County dairy farmer Joe Sozinho says his cows are doing just fine in this triple digit heat.

The heat has been relentless, but temperatures haven't climbed too high.

Plus, his animals are shaded in the barns, and they get a cold shower every ten minutes and constant fanning.

"In order to keep a cow, an animal cool, you have to get them soaked and then you blow it off," Sozinho said.

Sozinho says he hasn't heard of an abnormal amount of livestock deaths due to this summer's heat.

Last summer, there was a public health emergency when an extreme heat wave killed thousands of farm animals in the Valley, and a rendering company experienced mechanical issues at its Fresno County facility.

Overwhelmed, it couldn't take any more dead animals, and neither could its Hanford location.

Officials say thankfully that hasn't happened again this year.

According to Sozinho, there are signs indicating a cow is too hot.

Their tongues will stick out, and they may not eat or lie down-two things they need to do in order to produce milk.

"They feed a lot of people in this industry, they help feed us too," Sozinho said. "And we gotta take care of the cows. If we don't take care of the cows, there's no way they can take care of us."

Between the fanning and showers, Sozinho says it's about ten degrees cooler in the barns.

He says overnight temperatures in the 60's are most favorable to the cows.
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