Suffering Dairy Cows in NY Heat Wave Are Too Hot to Produce Milk


Photo: Kabsik Park under a Creative Commons license.

Another victim of the heat wave that brought large swaths of the United States to its knees in July: dairy cows in upstate New York. While humans can sweat, or turn up the air conditioning (or find other ways to keep cool), cows don't have those options. And contrary to what I think would be cool, hot cows don't produce hot milk. Instead, they suffer from heat stress, which lowers their milk production by as much as a third.Because the cows have no easy way to fight the heat, they become lethargic and lose their appetite, which is the cause of the decreased milk production. Dairy farmers install large fans and even sprinkler systems to help the large animals cool down, but it's an uphill battle.

So what's the best way to help the cows out, and to make sure you get your daily milk? Maybe it's time to look at what's really behind this record breaking heat wave, because it won't be the last one.

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More ways to beat the heat:
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10 Cold Vegetarian Soup Recipes For Summer's Hottest Days (Slideshow)

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