Keeping Betsy Cool!


Most dairy farms in the U.S. use some sort of cooling system in the hot summer months to keep their cows cool. It’s been proven that keeping cows cool during the hot times of the year helps to decrease their stress levels, which in turn improves milk production on the farm.

Keeping a sufficient cooling system running for a herd can empty farmer Jones’ pockets quite a bit, but…the benefits of keeping cows cool definitely outweighs the added cost increase in utilities. But…did you know that there is a way to keep those cows chilled without increasing electric and water bills?

A few dairy farms on the west coast have been experimenting with a new way to keep dairy cows cool.  It is called conductive cooling. This new technology looks like it could offer dairy farmers an opportunity to significantly cut energy costs while keeping their herd comfortable!

What is Conductive Cooling?
Conductive cooling works by creating contact between a warm source and a cold source, and then transferring or exchanging heat.

This method is much like that of a dog cooling itself by lying on a cold floor. Heat is transferred from the dog to the colder surface on the floor. The same process works with the cooling stall beds for cows.

To cool a stall bed you will need a heat exchanger.  Heat exchangers should be buried about a foot below the surface of the stall, which will prevent them from being snagged by rakes. You will also need well water that is pumped from an existing well.  The well water will pass through the heat exchanger system under the freestall bed on its way to another function on the dairy.

Because of the extreme temperature difference between the cow and the well water, heat is transferred between the two.

Another way to cool stall beds is to use a chiller.  A chiller can re-circulate chilled water through the heat exchanger. When using a chiller, water stays in the chiller system and is not used for anything else on the farm.

How to Cut Energy Use? 
Energy to operate fans and to pump water to cool down cows can be expensive! It has been proven that over 10% of energy use on a farm is used from air cooling.

Reducing Water Cunsumption? 

To date there has not been enough tests done estimate the savings of reduction in water usage on-farm. But we know it’s there!
Recent water use estimations on western dairy farms indicate that 40 percent to 50 percent of water is used for animal cooling and consumption. That’s a LOT of water!

Humid Climates?

Even though studies so far has been shown done on farms located in the western part of the U.S., conductive cooling could have the same cost saving effects in humid environments.

Conductive cooling offers dairy producers in humid climates, such as Florida, real promise to keep cows cool.

For more information on dairy chillers, visit us at

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