5 Tips To Keep Your Cattle Cool This Summer
Summer can be a tough time for cattle, especially if they are not properly cared for. High temperatures and humidity can lead to heat stress, which can adversely affect the quality of the meat produced, fertility, and overall health of the animal. In some severe cases, heat stress can even lead to death. That’s why it’s important to take steps to keep your cattle cool and comfortable during the summer months to ensure their well-being.
Here are 5 tips for keeping your cattle cool this summer.
1. Provide enough shade for your cattle
Despite this being an obvious precaution to take when caring for your cattle, providing enough shade for livestock must not be overlooked. Cattle have a natural inclination to seek out shaded areas to escape the heat, so it’s important to make sure that your barn or shed has plenty of shade for them to retreat to. It is recommended that a shade roof be at least 10 feet high to allow for airflow to help cool your cattle. Constructing smaller structures around your farm will help your cattle to escape the heat this Summer.
2. Consider ventilation
Adequate ventilation is also crucial to keep the air circulating and the temperature down. You can install fans or open windows to help improve airflow. Moreover, galvanised steel (depending on weather conditions) will last between 25-50 years. A well-ventilated steel shed will also help reflect some of the sun’s most intensive rays, keeping your cattle cool during those hot days.
3. Offer plenty of water
It’s essential to ensure that your cattle have access to clean, fresh water always, but it’s especially important in the summer when they are more prone to dehydration. Make sure that water troughs are cleaned regularly and consider installing a watering system that will automatically refill the water as needed. Cattle that experience heat stress are on average likely to increase their water intake by 50%. Therefore, it is essential to have multiple water sources available so that the cattle can choose the one that best suits their needs.
4. Spray your cattle
In addition to providing sources of water to prevent dehydration and heat stroke, we also recommend spraying your cattle to help keep them cool during periods of extreme heat. Sprinkler systems are a great idea in paddocks or cattle sheds to help keep your cattle cool. If you see your cattle suffering from the stress of heat, spray them with water directly for 1-5 minutes at intervals of 10-30 minutes. This strategy should help your cattle maintain their body temperature when it gets too hot.
5. Avoid working cattle during extreme heat
During periods of extreme heat, avoid working your cattle during the hottest parts of the day. Early mornings or late afternoons (after 3pm) are the preferred times to move your cattle if needed. However, if you need to move cattle during peak times, it is recommended to move them in smaller groups. This is because if they are in bigger groups and being jostled around, their body temperatures can rise, increasing the risk of heat stroke or stress.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your cattle cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. It’s worth noting that these measures will not completely eliminate the risk of heat stress, but they can significantly reduce the likelihood of it occurring and help to mitigate its effects.