It’s fair season at your local county and state fairs and dang, it’s hot!
Rolling into August and September reminds us of fair season. Kids in 4-H and FFA are busy getting their animals prepped for the season. In many parts of the country, they have experienced hotter than usual temperatures this summer. To keep your livestock cooler and safe from the effects of heat stress here are five tips to keep in mind during this show season:
- Shade – Providing some form of shielding from direct sunlight could provide up to a 10-degree decrease in temperature! Whether permanent or temporary, it’s always a good idea to provide some type of relief for livestock to get out of direct sunlight in the middle of hot summer days.
- Cool Water - Sometimes the key to keeping livestock comfortable is as simple as providing clean, cool water in an easily accessible location. The cooler the water, the better.
- Movement - Movement and digestion play a part in generating heat internally and can have as much of an impact as external radiation. Try to move and work animals in cooler parts of the day, when possible.
- Airflow - Strategically placed fans can greatly improve air movement and have a profound effect on keeping animals more comfortable.
- Sprinklers or misters – Appropriately placed, these are an extremely effective option to reduce the animal’s body temperature. When used in conjunction with fans, can relieve extreme heat stress on your show animals.
There are a number of livestock products available to help replace vitamins & electrolytes, which animals need the same as their human handlers in high stress, high heat conditions. We have heard of success using show products containing Capsaicin, which has been known to help maintain circulation in heat stress situations.
In addition to the above tips to keep your show stock cool, here is a list of products to consider keeping on hand:
- A-Lyte Solution or A-Lyte Concentrate: Quick energy source with essential nutrients
- DuraMate, DuraZyme Paste for Calves: Enhances appetite and aids in digestion
- DurVite and Show Ease Gel: Helps enhance appearance and support stress management
- Formula 911 and/or Vitamins and Electrolytes: Replacement of essential electrolytes and amino acids
- For those “just in case” moments, don’t forget to have Bloat Treatment and Activated Clay Gel on hand. These products are used in the event your animals get into some unknown feed and have stomach issues.
Finally, just good common sense can go a long way to help make show season a more enjoyable time for man and beast. Livestock can become agitated in much the same way as humans when internal and external temperatures are rising.
Always do what you can to make that prize-winning show animal a winner, just try to keep’ em cool!