Hot Tips to Prepare your Animals for the Warmer Months
Livestock are susceptible to catching and developing health concerns year-round which can be life threating for them. Therefore, it is important to create and maintain a healthy routine and space for all livestock such as cattle, sheep, and horses. Implementing a routine and preventing the problem is beneficial for you and your livestock.
During a wet summer, the risk of diseases increases therefore it is beneficial to become familiar with the symptoms to stop or prevent the spread from worsening.
Top Up the Water
During the beginning of Summer, when temperatures begin to rise, it is a good time to top up or double check Livestock’s water access. This may include dams, troughs, tanks, and other water sources. Installing equipment such as a float value that automatically fills water sources or alternatively monitoring water levels consistently.
Shade and Ventilation
Ensure your livestock also have an area for shade and good airflow if they are kept under shelter.
December is a great time to check and observe cattle for buffalo fly. Some symptoms can include sores within the corner of the cattle’s eyes which cause infestations and increase livestock health and can depreciate beef production. Pursehouse Rural stocks a range of livestock health products to ensure your animals receive the right treatment year-round.
Monitor horse body conditions as we head into warm months and adjust their diets and feeding amounts accordingly to ensure they are reaching appropriate nutrition levels. Regularly check horse hooves and trim as required.
Typically, during the hottest time of the year, it is important all livestock receive the appropriate nutrition and maintain appropriate body temperatures. Supplements such as electrolytes in the form of liquid or granular can provide a balanced water intake for different breeds and prevent dehydration. Consistent sweating and heat can cause stress to the animals and decline their health.
Be mindful that livestock are not overcrowded during summer. Large and overcrowded herds of livestock create a stressful environment for them and the ability to maintain suitable body temperatures.
Sheep owners should be mindful of diseases and symptoms in summer such as blowfly activity, foot rot, worms and other forms of internal parasites that appear in sheep. If these diseases are caught early, treatment control becomes much easier and livestock health can improve faster.
Cattle owners should be counting buffalo fly as if numbers reach over 200 per animal, action should be taken.
There are many benefits to livestock grooming such as improving animal well-being and removing dirt and other parasites that live on the animal’s skin.
Adjusting the feeding schedules for your livestock during summer can have many positive impacts. Feeding during early morning or later afternoon will avoid excess heat production; as feed digestion can cause heat production. Also consider completing any vaccinations, or treatment for the livestock to cooler parts of the day.
Fly numbers will increase across all livestock, therefore observing the numbers is important across all breeds. Sheep owners will need to be particularly cautious of fly strikes.
Clumpy wool and foot abscesses will occur to sheep during this time of the year.
Perform routine checks for buffalo fly on cattle.
Most importantly, regular livestock health checks should be done, in addition to becoming aware of the viruses and diseases your livestock can catch. Livestock health is important on the farm and implementing a routine plan can prepare better prepare you for any emergencies. Plan procedures for livestock in the event extreme weather conditions occur.