Keeping livestock at a cool temperature throughout the hot summer months is crucial to keeping livestock comfortable but also to prevent any stress caused by the high temperatures. Did you know that if heat stress occurs, the productivity of your livestock and/or performance of it will decrease and it can also be prone to the risks of heat stroke? Furthermore, once heat stress sets in it can be extremely difficult to fight off, so it’s important that preventative precautions are in place as a result.
Keep the below in mind in an effort to keep livestock cool and happy throughout the summer!
Fresh, Cold Water
It might go without saying, but the most critical resource for livestock in hot temperatures, is cold and fresh water on a regular basis. Unfortunately stagnant and warm water from the heat of the sun, can contribute to health risks as bacteria and debris can form pretty quickly, harming the livestock. Not only that, warm water isn’t going to relieve heat or cool down the animals; who wants to drink warm water in the hot sun?
Instead of traditional waterers, livestock waterers that we build here at SPI, meet Grade A dairy requirements and are designed with a double wall that’s filled with an insulated foaming material, which helps keep water cool. Energy free, these livestock waterers are easy to clean, and are made from corrosion free, rotationally molded polyethylene, which is FDA and HPA approved.
A good tip? Consider adding electrolytes to your livestock’s water occasionally; these are not only beneficial to hydration, they often come in delicious flavours that will further encourage your stock to drink.
Aside from water, shade is the next important necessity throughout the summer months. Always check that your livestock has easy (and enough) access to shady areas. If possible, shade should be supplied by open-air sheds that allow a nice cool breeze to pass through, but if a traditional barn is all you have access to, keep all windows and vents open; consider fans as additional relief.
Large livestock operations will typically use misting systems through their barns and facilities to maintain cool stock. For those smaller operations, single misters attached to fans are usually enough. Another option is to use sprinklers which work wonders for outdoor pastures. Be sure that they are placed in an area where animals can’t trample on top of them or possibly get tangled up in the hoses. Always keep livestock away from bodies of water, and take advantage of sprinklers instead.
Signs of Heat Stress
If you use the above guidelines this summer you shouldn’t run into any issues with heat stress, but you should always be alert and aware of possible signs. For horses and other animals with sweat glands, be on the look for profuse sweating during times of inactivity. For animals such as cattle that don’t sweat, watch for open-mouth breathing and panting. In all animals, look for signs of incoordination, disorientation, and trembling. If any of these symptoms arise, heat stroke is likely going to set in and you need to cool the animal down as soon as possible with a cold bath.
In most cases, precautionary measures are enough to stop the effects of heat stress. Take the right steps at the start of summer, and you and your livestock will be able to enjoy the heat all summer long.
Get in touch with SPI to learn more about our livestock waterers. We guarantee 100% quality product and provide a 10 year limited warranty on all of our products.
Call us today for more information: 1-800-269-6533