Caring for livestock during a heatwave

Livestock owners should take special care of their stock during a heatwave as animals suffer from the heat as well.

Extreme heat can have a detrimental effect on animal health and wellbeing, but there are precautions that you can take to reduce this including:

  • providing plenty of shade and shelter
  • providing cool water close to the shade – animals drink up to double the amount of water in hot weather
  • keep troughs clean especially when moving stock into a new paddock
  • if possible, don’t let animals access dams as they can become boggy and animals accessing the water may get stuck
  • check on livestock daily
  • look for signs of heat stress such as sweating, panting, and drooling
  • minimise stock movement and if they need to be moved do it during the night or the coolest part of the day
  • transporters of livestock should also have in place contingency plans to handle unexpected breakdowns, especially during hot weather.

If you are not living at a property, make initial arrangements for a neighbour to check on animals in your absence.

Related information

Livestock and bushfires

SA State Emergency Service

Livestock transport standards

Page Last Reviewed: 17 Nov 2015
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