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.