Top Cooling Practices to Keep Your Livestock Happy This Summer
Worried how summer heat will affect your farm animals? Keep your livestock happy and comfortable this summer with these top cooling practices.
Did you find yourself sweating more than usual last summer? Did you have to give your crops and livestock more water than you're used to?
It's not all in your head: Summers are hotter than ever, and if we're feeling it, so are our animals.
Farm animals under less stress make more milk, better meat, and are generally healthier.
Facts are facts, and there's no reason to ignore them when it's profitable! If this is new to you, don't worry—and if it isn't, this article is still for you!
Here are some of the best cooling practices that you should follow.
Water Your Animals Well
It may seem obvious to say your animals need water, but it's surprisingly easy for animals to dehydrate. Plus, water is actually kind-of underrated—One of the easiest and most vital ways to keep your animals cool and healthy is just to provide ample watering options for them to drink from.
Keep in mind that summer heat causes open sources of water to evaporate faster than they would typically, so you'll want to both offer more water as well as checking and refilling water sources more often than you normally do.
Indications that an animal might be dehydrated include unusually tight skin, lack of saliva and dry mucous membranes, and weight loss. Dehydration will not only decrease the animal's performance—if not given proper attention, it can even kill! Keep up with your animals' health status: Don't assume that your animals are drinking just because water is offered.
For pigs, consider going beyond the drink and provide them with a mud pit or shallow pool to wallow in on hot days, in addition to the other water they have. Mud has the added benefit of protecting your swine from sunshine, meaning that you may be able to save some money on sunscreen.
It's hard to believe that there's any simpler way to cool farm animals than giving them enough to drink. And yet, there actually is an easier cooling option!
What is it? It's simply shade.
Yes, one of the most basic comforts nature offers is also one of the greatest options you have for cooling your animals down. That said, even the most natural of farms isn't a natural situation, so Mother Nature usually needs reinforcements.
If your animals aren't usually shaded, try buying a shading structure for them to access when it's hot out. If that's not your thing, give your animals access to plenty of trees. You can even channel your own Mother Nature and grow a little forest on your property, and could start making money off fruit or wood, too!
Fans are a popular way for people to cool off in the summertime, and there's no reason to keep them to ourselves! Fans are a popular method for cooling animals, as they're relatively inexpensive, don't require additional resources, and are easy to maintain.
Just as the United States government recommends fans for cooling alongside other methods, it's also the most effective way to employ fans on your farm. Use them in addition to plenty of water, of course, within shade structures, and in combination with mist, which you can read more about below.
Spray All Day
You probably use misting systems elsewhere on your farm. The great news is, they're great for plants and animals alike! Try combining mist with livestock fans, then hook them up within shade structures, your barns, or whatever sort of structure your animals stay in.
Believe it or not, this easy solution cools shelters down dramatically! You might even be able to set this up with equipment you already have, and mist is super versatile.
While some systems are specific to certain kinds of animals, you can cool goats, cows, pigs, chickens, llamas, ostriches, and any other livestock you can think of in no time, well within your budget, with misting systems!
Use Sprinkler Solutions
You just read about mist, so why do you need to hear about another way to spray water? Sprinklers are, of course, fairly similar to misting systems. However, the ways the two are used differ.
While farm animal misting systems are aimed at livestock living indoors, sprinklers can be used indoors to wet the ground a bit, or outside in a shady area that your animals can access.
Chill out With Improved Cooling Practices
You wanted to learn about livestock cooling, and you accomplished your goal by reading about the most popular & easiest options out there.
With these four simple practices, you can make your animals—and your
business—happier and healthier. You know what else? Knowing that your
farm animals are cool and comfortable during the summer means that
you'll be happier and healthier also.
If you have any questions about supplies to get started with improved cooling solutions, feel free to give us a holler—we're more than happy to help.
So, what are you waiting for? Go chill out!