How to keep dairy cows cool in summer heat?
In Japan, the very hot summer temperatures concern dairy farmers, since they affect milk production. A Japanese company, Gunze Ltd, has developed shirt-like device to keep the heat-affected cows cool, automatically wetting the animals down so they are comfortable.
The device, named Ushi-ble, is made of a stretch "feel-cool" fabric that is more often seen in sportswear. It covers the cows' necks and shoulders, making it look like they are wearing a stretch t-shirt.The device has a sensor that keeps tabs on how wet the material is, and when it becomes too dry, water is pumped through a tube to douse the animal. The water then vaporizes to bring down the cow's hide temperature by around 5°C, the company said.
The device has been tested by Gunze and its partner, the Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center, and has proven effective in minimizing the normal 10 percent summer-time reduction in milk production.
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