The ideal temperature range for dairy cows is between 25 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Like other mammals, cows are warm blooded and need to maintain a constant core body temperature. The normal body temperature for a dairy cow is around 101°F. In the winter, cows thick skin and hair is a natural insulator that protects them from the bitter cold. Their hairy coat grows longer and thicker in the winter. When it snows, the hair catches the snow and forms a layer over the cow. This creates an air pocket between the snow and the cow’s skin, which is then warmed by the cow’s natural body temperature. Cows are usually housed in barns and free stalls to keep cows out of the cold weather. Many of the dairy farms in the Midwest have curtains on their barns to keep the wind out. The curtains roll down to enclose the barn. Minimizing wind is the key to keeping cows warm.
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