Herd a fan of breezy comfort

By Dairy News

Temperatures can get hot and oppressing in Cowra during the peak of summer, unless you are one of the lucky cows housed in the free stall barn built by dairy farmers Colin and Erina Thompson.

The building of the barn has been a gradual process over the last eight years for the couple but it is now nearing completion.

Initially the sand bedded barn, housed the milking herd but 2.5 years ago it was expanded to include dry cows and pregnant heifers — at any one time it now holds 320 milking cows, 50 dry/transition cows and about 75 pregnant heifers.

Ventilation, cow comfort and reducing production losses was the number one motivator behind Colin installing 40 55-inch, ECVC fans from Mike Ryan at Eagle Direct.

The fans were wired into the 102 m long, 60 m wide shed two years ago and business hasn’t looked back since. They have made a noticeable difference to cow comfort particularly over the summer months, which in turn has paid dividends in the vat.

There has also been an improvement in reproductive performance, something Colin attributes to improved dry cow comfort.

In spring 2018, the herd peaked at 43 litres and over the following summer only dropped to 41 litres.

“The fans have certainly been a big factor in improving reproduction performance and milk production,” Colin said.

“They have multiple benefits including encouraging the cows to eat more, reducing fly numbers and generally improving all around animal comfort and that is a win for us all.”

Eagle Direct was set up to bring experts and quality products from around the world to the Australian dairy industry.

Mike said the company is happy to assist with feeding, bedding, cow comfort, waste water and effluent management systems.

“We are committed to bringing farmers systems that are tried and tested in Australia and around the world. It was an honour to work with Slivermere on their ventilation upgrade in there freestall barn and I’m delighted with the results they are seeing,” Mike said.

Eagle Direct has also been keeping visitors and cows cool over the duration of International Dairy Week with their ECVC misters and fans.