Preparing Your Livestock for Summer

May 30, 2019 2:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The weather is now starting to heat up, and if you own a farm or a ranch, you can bet that, sooner or later, your animals are going to be feeling that heat. While there are certainly plenty of benefits that come along with the warmer summer weather, it’s also important to know that issues such as heat stress, heatstroke and dehydration are serious challenges that can greatly affect your animals if you’re not careful.

With this in mind, here are some strategies recommended by veterinarians in Bolivar, MO to help you keep your farm animals safe, healthy and cool throughout even the hottest days of the summer:

  • Find ways to add shade to your property: If you’re raising livestock, you’ve probably got plenty of wide-open spaces with lots of fields of grass. If you don’t have many trees on your property, you should find other ways to provide your animals with some shade. Add some run-in sheds or lean-tos, and plant trees in strategic areas so they can grow and provide you with some shade in the future. Portable shade shelters can be very convenient as well for farmers with large pastures.
  • Provide plenty of clean water: Animals will drink more water as the temperature rises in the summer. Water troughs that just sit out in the heat of the day are liable to become hosts for algae and bacteria, so make sure you keep those troughs clean and have plenty of clean water available.
  • Consider grooming possibilities: For some types of animals, such as sheep and llamas, it may be a good idea to shear before the heat of the summer becomes too much for them to handle.
  • Have fans running in structures: If you have animals that are going to be kept in barns or other structures for any period of time during the summer, make sure you’ve got plenty of fans operating throughout the area. Not only do they offer cool, comfortable breezes for your livestock, but they also prevent insects from becoming a problem—the moving air discourages them from landing and feasting on your animals.
  • Put up some pools: We’re not suggesting that you build a pool on your property, but you might consider using some kiddie pools or some slightly larger shallow and temporary pools around your farmland for your animals to cool themselves off in. Plus, it’s kind of fun to watch the animals enjoy themselves with these pools—some of them really take to the idea of taking a dip when the weather gets hot.
  • Don’t stress them out: If you have animals on your farm that you use for work, avoid that work and other ways in which you might stress them out during the hottest times of day. You should even avoid certain types of stressful veterinary work when it’s very hot—just let the animals relax and take it easy.

These are just a few examples of some of the ways you can keep your livestock cool and comfortable when the weather gets hot this summer. A veterinarian in Bolivar, MO can provide more information—reach out to Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar today!

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