Beat the Heat
Hot enough for you? Sweltering heat can affect farm animals as much as – if not more than – humans. Heat stress can cause serious health issues and possibly even death depending on the severity. How do you cool off livestock to keep them comfortable, hydrated, and safe from the side effects of heat stress? We’ll take a look at some good tips for keeping livestock comfortable and healthy in the summer heat.
Always Have Water On Tap
Unless the temperature is extremely high, most of the symptoms of heat stress are actually due to dehydration. Cool, fresh drinking water also helps keep an animal’s core temperature down, reducing the risk of fatal heat stress. Always ensure there is enough space for the majority of your animals to drink at one time, as dominant animals may block others from drinking in excessive heat.
Add Some Shade
This sounds like an easy choice, but one that is often overlooked. Animals get hot in the full summer sun just like you do. One of the easiest ways to ensure cooler animals is to offer shade. The shade you provide can be from a tree or a shelter. Your animals really do need shade, whether from natural sources or manmade structures. Just giving your animals a chance to get out of the full sun can greatly increase their comfort and over-all health and well-being.
Work Animals During Cooler Times
It almost goes without saying, you should work or move animals during the cooler hours of the day when possible. Just like you find it difficult to work in the full sun and heat of the day, your animals will appreciate staying as still as possible during the hottest hours. While not always practical or possible, keeping your livestock quiet and inactive during the full heat of the day will go a long way to making and keeping them as cool and comfortable.
Cool Off Livestock With Airflow
Even a little breeze in hot sweltering weather can be a relief. You may choose to augment the breeze that nature provides. The simple addition of fans can keep air moving indoors and make those still, miserable days just a bit more tolerable. Fans can also keep the annoyance of pesky flying insects at a minimum by sweeping them away on the breeze. Ventilation, proper shade and a cooling breeze can be “just what the vet ordered” to keep your animals thriving during the hot summer months.
Water sprinklers aren’t just for the kids anymore, your livestock will love the cool mists and refreshing showers from water sprinklers and misting nozzles. Anything you can do to reduce heat stress will be welcome in the herd. Providing access to water – whether misting, sprinkling, or drinking – is one of the best ways to beat the summer heat.
Serve Supper Later
Digestion actually produces heat—a surprising amount of heat, in fact. Therefore, heat production in cattle fed in the morning will peak in the middle of the day when environmental temperatures are also elevated. Feeding in the evening shifts this heat production to a cooler time of the day and it also changes when animals are most active. This frees them up to laze around through the heat of the day. Cattle should receive a least 70 percent of their feed two to four hours after peak ambient temperature. Changing the feed ration has been controversial, but research indicates that lowering the energy content of diet will decrease the heat load. The general recommendation is to reduce the diet energy content by 5 to 7 percent.
Drinking Post for Cool Water on Tap
A Drinking Post Frost Free Automatic Livestock Waterer provides cool clean water in the summer and warm comforting water in the winter. Because the base of a Drinking Post is situated 18 inches below your local frost line, the temperature of the water your animals drink from the Drinking Posts’ drinking bowl is near 50 degrees year-round. That’s a delicious cool drink in the summer heat, and a nice warm drink in the winter.
Since all the water drains away after each use, there is never any standing water in the unit – and since there’s no standing water, there’s nothing in there to freeze! That’s how we’re able to keep it frost-free year-round without the use of electricity. You’ll save lots of money on electric bills alone when you replace an electric heating element with a Drinking Post. Not only that, But you’ll also avoid the risk of exposing your animals to electric shock. Plus, with no heating element – you needn’t worry about the devastation of electric structure fires.
A Clean Drinking Bowl
Also, since the Drinking Post fills with new, fresh water with every single use, it stays incredibly clean! The animals love the fresh, clean water and you won’t have to spend your time cleaning and scrubbing the bowl of the Drinking Post to keep it that way. No standing water means no freezing, but it also means no algae growth! There is never any algae growth in the Drinking Post. Forget about having to scrub away algae in your water troughs. You no longer need to worry about the health risks of blue green algae in your animal’s drinking water. Look for lots of great information and great answers today at: https://dpwaterer.com/faq
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