Animal welfare is a concern that is expressed in today’s society while dairymen have already been aware of it for a long time. This is evidenced by the development over the past 20 years of highly advanced equipment for comfort in the barns. The awareness of the effects of heat stress on dairy cows is at the heart of much concern.
Considering this factor in the design and equipment of dairy farm buildings has become a major design criterion.
The consequences of heat stress are well known to veterinarians: increased body temperature and heart rate and hyperventilation for example. They also see a slowdown in activity, nutrient intake, lactation and even fertility disorders. The negative impact on the development of the fetus and on the performance of future unborn calves is also proven.
They are, therefore…fatal (in the true sense of the word) to livestock productivity.
The ramifications can be severely underestimated and, for this reason, Bioret Agri has invented a mattress for cubicles with water pouches that allows recirculation of cooled water. A truly significant heat exchange is now possible under the cow. It also supports the pressure, without compression points, allowing optimized blood circulation in the udder. Cows love it. (Studies show that they prefer it to other bedding).
The AQUACLIM® Thermodynamic version was awarded an innovation star at SPACE 2018. It is characterised by a network of rubber tubing, vulcanised inside the water pouch, and allowing the flow of a heat transfer fluid. The tubing cools the water pouches and carries away the calo The circuit is linked to a cooling source which is selected and sized according to the project, the dairy design and the geographical location. (Geothermal energy, heat pump to produce hot water, etc.).
In this scorching 2019 summer, the first feedback from cows benefiting from this new technology is very encouraging. Observation of the animals and cooling efficiency measurement shows that there is no stress or discomfort, no panting or short-winded cows. At first sight it’s perfect, but since we can’t question the cows, we use an infrared thermal camera!
Here are the measurements taken in a building of 180 dairy cows at the GAEC des
Landelles (44290 – Guéméné Penfao, France) on the 18/06/2019:
32° ambient temperature
= THI calculation is 80,
so well above the stress threshold (69-70).
MEASUREMENT ON THE CUBICLES:
The central point targeted by the camera on the cow’s back is measured at 36.3°C. This confirms that thanks to Aquaclim, she does not suffer from hyperthermia despite the exceptional climatic conditions.
(visual on the left)
The mattress: 23°C
The temperature on the mattresses is also measured at 23°C. Thanks to Aquaclim, cows in contact with the mattress are cooled to 23° while the outside temperature is 32°.
MEASUREMENT ON COWS DURING THE HEAT WAVE
No loss of milk production despite high temperatures.