When the summer hits and temperatures rise, your cattle can become prone to heat stress, causing a myriad of different issues that you don't want to be faced with.
Heat stress can cause everything from breeding problems to a lack of milk production and even death if left untreated. Luckily there are measures you can take to reduce the effects of heat stress on your cattle right now without spending any money. Waterman's will take you through our top tips to beat the heat right and keep your cattle function as they should when the extreme weather strikes.
#1. Improve Access To Fresh, Cold Drinking Water
Getting cattle to stay hydrated isn't easy, but improving the number of water sources and the ease of access to troughs will give your livestock more opportunity to drink in periods of warm weather.
Make sure that troughs are placed in shadier areas otherwise the water won't have a cooling effect of the cattle's body temperature.
#2. Handle Cattle In The Morning
Temperatures tend to peak between 11am and 3pm, so make sure you work with cattle during the cooler parts of the day such as early morning or evening when the sun begins to set. This will prevent your cattle from becoming too excitable and agitated which can cause them to overheat.
#3. Be Aware Of Reproductive Issues
It's important to note that heat stress can have a big impact on reproductive success in both cows and bulls. Keeping your animals cool can prevent conception loss and problems with sperm production.
#4. Provide Shade And Manage Pests
Covered, well ventilated and spacious barn areas will keep your cattle cool and help prevent any gatherings of flies. Stable flies can cause your cattle to get restless and huddle together which can cause them to massively overheat. Flies are always a problem in summer so make sure you're always keeping an eye on your cattle during particularly hot days.
#5. Create A Heat Plan
Plan ahead prior to the summer months and develop a plan to combat the heat. The warmer weather can exacerbate everything from pests to sunburn and foot infection so make sure that you are well prepared and have all the necessary equipment needed to deal with more extreme conditions.