Spring Cleaning

Jun 05, 2019

Spring, and in this case early summer, is a prime time for your barn and milking system to   get a thorough cleaning. Advantages besides just curb appeal are to maximize ventilation efficiency with higher wind speeds and to also lower your electric bill.
Experts in energy efficiency and renewable energy agree that cleaning fan blades and louvers/shutters can increase energy efficiency by up to 60%. Higher wind speed on the cattle will help cool them. Optimal wind speed at the level of the cattle when lying down should be around 4-7 mph and this could be checked with an anemometer. Dirty fans could lower your wind speed as low as 2-3 mph which would result in warmer cows and cows with less milk and or less components. While cleaning fans it is an opportunistic time to use a grease gun and garage door lubricant and check the condition of the fan belt. Another thing to look at is the pitch on your fans. If the pitch of the fans is blowing over your cows it is not going to work as well to cool the cattle. Sand bedding is not a problem, but with mattresses with wood shavings there is a fine line to cool the cows and not blow bedding off the mattresses. Other fans to look at and clean before hot weather hits are refrigerators and freezers and their coils and condensers. I hope my wife doesn’t read this article.
Some producers are cleaning the roofs on their free stall barns. The purpose for this especially on white tin roofs is to help reflect the sun and help keep the barn up to 10 degrees cooler depending on the level of insulation. Less snow load would also be a benefit because snow doesn’t slide as well on a dirty roof. Another benefit might be a longer lasting roof by removing organic matter off the roof.
I like to recommend cleaning of the curtains in the fall of the year to allow more sunlight in the barn and help keep it warmer. In the spring it is a good time to check, clean, and lubricate pulleys,  winches, and nylon strings because curtains will go up and down quite often during the summer months.
A lot of these cleaning tasks can be done by the employers and employees safely. Some decide to hire an outside source that is license and insured and have specialized equipment to get projects done safely. I am sure my wife thinks that I can get my projects done safely.

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