On the Greenbacker farm, each calf has her own hutch to call home for a few months. Even an unheated barn can stay a comfortable temperature, thanks to the body heat cows generate. Are they like penguins who huddle together or are they toughing it out? 1. The hutch also makes it easy to monitor each calf’s health, as well as how much she eats. To learn more about cows, visit a local farmer, available here. They enjoy their barns, so many farmers optimize the area for any need. Cows are not restrained in the barn and are free to enter and leave whenever they desire. Depending on how cold it is, they might raise the curtains a bit to allow some air circulation. It is essential that they have a dry, clean place, out of the wind to stand and lie down in especially when the temperature drops below zero. Please donate to GENYOUth’s COVID-19 Emergency School Meal Delivery Fund. Her siblings can’t steal any of her food or keep her out of bed. So, the next time you see cows standing outside in the cold, try not to think of them as feeling the cold as we do. We are global advocates for dairy as an essential ingredient to life. The cozy combination of hutch, straw and jackets results in optimal calf conditions in cold weather. A strategy to keep livestock warm during the cold winter is to feed cattle at night because heat from digesting food peaks a few hours after eating. Cows have access to clean water and feed 24 hours a day. Calves are living the dream of everyone growing up with siblings! Other comfort options like automatic brushes can be added. Cookies are always better with a glass of milk. An unheated barn can stay a comfortable temperature in the colder months thanks to the body heat cows generate. Feb 20, 2018 by Ashley Martin. How Do Cows Stay Warm in Winter? In winter, Dziurgot adds extra straw to the hutches, giving the calves more of their favorite bedding to snuggle into. As she’s given her own room, the hutch also makes it easy to monitor each calf’s health, as well as how much she eats. With a cow’s average body temperature of 101.5°F, several members of the herd staying in can keep everyone comfy on those cold mornings. Rather than venturing outdoors, cows prefer to stay in their dry barns where they have plenty of space to lay down, walk, eat feed and drink fresh water. They also outfit their calves with special winter gear: calf jackets, which have a quilted inside and a windbreaker-like outside, for an extra layer of warmth. By navigating this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. While humans prefer warmer temperatures, to them, those chilly mornings are perfect weather! So how do they do it? We use cookies on this site to enhance your experience. With ever-changing weather, cows aren’t expected to simply deal with the changes. Each calf has her own hutch to call home for the first months of life. It can be dangerous for cows to be wet in a cold wind; luckily, cows prefer to stay in their dry barns, where they have plenty of space to lay down, walk around, eat and drink fresh water. It includes stalls and bedding for each cow. Dairy farmers work hard to keep their cows healthy and comfortable, especially during the coldest months. The South is a region of extremes. These individual enclosures provide a safe, warm place for each calf with enough room to move around. Cows that are muddy or covered in manure will have trouble staying warm. 5 thoughts on “ Keeping Cows Warm and Healthy in the Winter ” Katie December 3, 2010 at 12:50 am. Dairy farmers like Melissa Greenbacker Dziurgot of Greenbacker’s Brookfield Farm in Durham, Conn., embrace a variety of winter cow care practices to make sure their cows stay nice and cozy all season long. This is great insight Emily. While the adult cows naturally handle cooler temperatures, Dziurgot said they take extra precautions at the dairy to keep calves as warm and comfortable as possible. Keep Enough Feed Available. Their hair doesn’t appear thick and they aren’t walking around in jackets. Increasing the amount of feed can also help prepare them for the cold because a higher nutrient quality in the feed means more energy. Dairy Overview. When winter sets in on a dairy, farmers pay special attention to their cows and the weather. And cows do a pretty good job of preparing for winter on their own. To help keep their cows comfortable when the temperature dips, Dziurgot and her team close the barn’s doors and hang plastic curtains over its naturally open sides. Thanks to their thick skin, hair and natural insulation, cows actually prefer temperatures between 40 and 65 degrees. Ever wonder how cows here in Maine handle the sub-zero temps that we call “an average winter?” Sometimes people worry that while we’re all bundled up inside the cows are cold out in the barn – but it turns out they’re “Mainah’s” too and are built for cold weather. With a cow’s average body temperature of 101.5°F, several members of the herd staying in can keep everyone comfy on those cold mornings. Summer should be so hot that ice cream, air conditioning, and extra fans barely keep you cool while winter calls for portable heaters, blankets, and a thermos of hot chocolate. While the adult cows naturally handle cooler temperatures, Dziurgot said they take extra precautions at the dairy to keep calves as warm and comfortable as possible. This allows the calves to use their extra energy to grow strong, rather than keep warm. Did you know that cows prefer cold weather because they’re warm-blooded. If they are well cared for, they are healthy, happy, and comfortable being outside. 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