How Do Cows (And Calves) Stay Warm In The Winter?

by Tristen Spahr

A dairy cow’s ideal temperature is between 25°F – 50°F. Dairy farmers work hard to keep their cows healthy and comfortable, especially during the coldest months.

So how do they do it?

Most barns are equipped with curtains that may be manually raised or lowered to protect cows from cold weather and whipping winds.
barn with curtains down

Watch this short video to see Ohio dairy farmer Kristy Ackley draw the curtains on her barn

Soft bedding, like sand or straw, is provided around-the-clock to help keep cows comfortable and warm.
freestalls bedded with straw

Calves are often kept in hutches, or individual pens, which have clean dry bedding (like straw) for them to nestle in and doors that may be temporarily shut to protect them from cold weather and wind.
calf hutches

Many farms also use calf jackets to help calves conserve heat and stay warm, much like we put on jackets to keep us warm.
calf blankets

Click here to learn more about how dairy farmers cow for their cows and calves.

Tristen Spahr

Tristen is the Communications Specialist for the American Dairy Association Mideast. A recent graduate of The Ohio State University, Tristen was raised on a dairy farm in Northwest Ohio. She is a social media enthusiast and enjoys cooking and going to concerts in her free time.

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