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FANS Keep Dairy Cows Comfortable and High in Production
The Cold Link - July / August 2008
Dairy cows that are sheltered from the heat of the sun and from the rain and are well fed produce as much as 25% more milk per day than those that are left standing in the open fields in the blazing sun or driving rain.
One farm that has taken heed of the research done on the impact of cow comfort on production, is Oatlands in the Darling area, approximately 87km north of Cape Town.
The cows in milk production at Oatlands average 350 and are each milked 3 times a day. When not being milked, the cows are kept in large free stall cow housing measuring 80 x 35 m
and are fed with a balanced diet of mixed feed and vitamins. The free stall cow housing also has areas covered with dry soft sand where the cows are able to lay and relax.
The HYDOR agridultural boxed fans are installed slightly inclined to provide a gentle air flow over the cows.
Although the housing has open sides, the inside temperature increases considerably in hot weather, not only from the sun, but also from the heat of respiration of the 350 cows and from the freshly mixed feed, which is mechanically spread on the floor. To add to cow comfort Oatlands have installed 20 fans in each of their grazing stalls for air circulation and to reduce the air temperature. The installed HYDOR agricultural boxed fans have 1250mm diameter axial, 5 bladed fans, driven by 0,75kW single phase motors. The casings of the HYDOR fans units are of galvinised steel and the fan blades of stainless steel to withstand the corrosive environment. The 11,940 3/s of airflow of each fan replaces the warm moist air and foul gases e.g. ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulfide (by-products from cows) with dry, oxygenfilled fresh aire from outside.
A new free stall cow housing under construction with 20 fans in position.
The fans are said to reduce the shelter temperature by as much as 3°C on a hot summers day. A Special feature of the HYDOR boxed fan is that the belt can be tensioned without removing the guard. The HYDOR fans at Oatlands were supplied by AMS, Montague Gardens and installed by Pienaar's Elektties of Darling.