Here’s a retrospective on the month of August
New Van Os lab Master student!
At the beginning of August, Kim Reuscher from Texas joined our lab as a Masters student. She had to hit the ground running immediately as we started data collection for our lab’s first experiment:
Cooling cows with showers in the parlor
Throughout all of August and the beginning of September, our lab (Kim, fellow MSc student Rekia, and undergraduate Emma) spent every day at Rosy-Lane Holsteins collecting data. This dairy is owned and operated by 4 UW-Madison alumni who prioritize innovation and adaptation, making them ideal research partners.
A few years ago, the Rosy-Lane partners decided to try cooling their cows with water while the cows are being milked in the parlor. This approach is pretty rare – more commonly, dairies soak cows when they are in the pre-milking holding area and/or in the home pen while they’re eating. Rosy-Lane likes their method because it means they apply a consistent amount of water to every cow, so our lab decided to collect data to measure how the cows are cooled by the showers.
Now that summer has ended, Kim, Rekia, Emma, and undergraduate Sky are in the thick of data processing. We look forward to sharing the final results with the farm!
In addition, our collaborator, Dr. Mario Mondaca, an engineer and ventilation specialist with the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) and The Dairyland Initiative, helped the farm measure the airspeeds at the cows’ standing and resting heights throughout their mechanically ventilated barn. This information helped the farm see if there were areas with low airspeeds where adding a new baffle could help direct fast-moving air to the cows to keep them cooler in summer.