Cow Comfort

Cows that are comfortable will have less stress, eat more, have fewer health problems, and fewer injuries. Cows should be eating, drinking, milking or lying down.

Cow comfort is paramount in a productive and profitable dairy. Observation and experience show that cows housed in a comfortable environment produce more milk and generally live healthier longer lives, meaning that focusing on cow comfort is beneficial to both economics and animal welfare.

Some of the key aspects of cow comfort are: Ventilation, Cow Cooling, Stalls, Flooring, and Lighting.


Ventilation is an important aspect of an animal’s well-being. The goal of ventilation is to provide fresh air uniformly throughout the dairy shelter, so all animals receive adequate quantities and qualities. Proper ventilation means moving outside air through designated air inlets and evenly distributing it throughout the shelter. Incoming air mixes with air contaminants (moisture, dust, pathogens, manure gases, and heat) in the shelter and is discharged, as shown in the image below. Fans hanging over stalls or alleys do not provide air exchange and are not a substitute for open sidewalls and endwalls, rather these fans help with Cow Cooling.

Ventilation Overview

Natural Ventilation

Mechanical Ventilation

Ventilation Controllers