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Pampered cows keep it cool

Cattle at Tatura’s International Dairy Week are being kept cool in anticipation of an increase in temperature, with the mercury set to hit 38°C tomorrow.

JORDIE KRAUTZ January 23, 2013 12:00am

Gapstead Holstein stud owner Michael Harvey uses a fan to keep his cows cool.


Cattle at Tatura’s International Dairy Week are being kept cool in anticipation of an increase in temperature, with the mercury set to hit 38°C tomorrow.

Gapstead Holstein stud owner Michael Harvey said owners had been taking multiple measures to protect their cattle against the heat.

‘‘On hot days, we’ll hose them down occasionally to help them keep cool,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve got four cows here — two milkers and two heifers.’’

Mr Harvey, who has run the Katunga stud for seven years with his wife, said his cattle were already acclimatised to the hot weather, as they were from the region.

‘‘My cattle are used to it by now, but for cattle coming from districts like Gippsland, it might be a bit different,’’ he said.

Mr Harvey said he gave his cattle a feed additive to help them deal with the heat.

The animals at Dairy Week are sheltered in sheds that have fans and evaporative air conditioning, complemented, of course, by the pampering of their owners.

They also have access to a wash-down area.

When it was hot, the cattle tended to eat less and that could affect their weight and milk production, Mr Harvey said.

Dairy Week suffered a temporary blackout in Monday’s 35°C heat when the electrical system became overloaded.

Organisers appealed for people occupying caravans to turn their air conditioners off.

Two extra generators were brought in on Monday night and were working on Tuesday.

Organisers said the extra number of people living on-site this year and the hot conditions contributed to the extra demand for power.

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