The climate in a modern cubicle barn must accommodate the requirements of the dairy cows 100 percent. 'Since the cattle has the nature of a polar animal' (quote, Grauvogel 1994), it prefers dry and cold environments to heat and humidity. A lack of fresh air means:
Heat-induced stress: Instead of ruminating, the cows become sluggish, eat less, and start panting in order to release their body heat. When the temperature rises from 20°C to 30°C, cows will take in at least 1.5 kg less dry substance and produce 3 - 5 kg less milk a day.
The level of humidity rises, causing the animals to have difficulty to release their body heat in the summer. In the winter time, they become hypothermic on account of their wet fur. Pathogenic germs spread significantly faster in moist air.
Dust whipped up from feed and bedding put a strain on the respiratory system.
Harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, ammonium and methane impact the animals. The cows will not be able to perform at their best when they lack oxygen. Cubicle barns containing large volumes of air require that the air be exchanged 4 - 6 times every hour. Moreover, the summer months make it necessary to extract the body heat produced by the cows. The exchange rates must, consequently,
be raised to 60 – 100 times an hour. The exchange rates mentioned above can only be achieved if the side walls of a cubicle barn can be
opened and closed. The opening must be selected such that it is wide enough to allow the incoming wind to engulf the cows in the midsummer months. This is the only way of preventing heat-induced stress. As a rule of thumb, the size of the openings on each side of a stand-alone building must be 0.6 sqm per cow, while approx. 1 sqm per cow (quote, Büscher 2005) is required for buildings protected
from the wind by other barns. As a result, a six-row cubicle barn would have to have eaves with a height between 3.40 m and 5
m and an opening between 2.70 m and 4 m.
Fresh air is free and available in abundance outside of the shed. This makes it the most affordable production factor that it essential to all farm animals.