If you ever see a cow standing with her neck arched, mouth open, saliva dripping from her jaws, respiration about eighty breaths per minute, get her out of the sun.
These early spring days hit the cows harder than hotter days will do in July, when they are acclimated to it, but what do you do with a cow who has water, shade and salt and prefers to stand in the sun and pant? It was time to take that group of cows across the road to a wooded pasture, so over she went with the others, and after an hour in the shade was frisking with the rest. Still, we don’t like to see a cow get in that condition, and she wasn’t the only one; there were two among the lactating cows which were approaching meltdown. These were on the woods on the east side of the pasture, where the shade is thinner in late afternoon, so in the morning we gave them a paddock on the west side so that they would have the best shade between noon and four o’clock milking time, which did the trick. Thank goodness; we don’t want a bunch of cows with heat stroke.