As the heat vamps up for Summer you should start to prepare your farm to cater for the need of each animal you house. The days get longer and the heat looms so ensuring both yourself and your animals don’t suffer from heat stress in the long hot Summer days is important. You may think it’s too early to prepare for the warmer months but, they creep up thick and fast so the earlier you prepare, the better. As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Shelter can be anything from your Windbreak, Igloos, Veranda’s, and Animal Barns. Ensuring your shelter around the field and in the barns is well equipped for all weather, particularly the Summer sunshine. You need to ensure you ventilate your shelter properly to allow for a good flow of air. If the barn is compact full of animals on a hot day with no real ventilation, you may find they struggle from heat stress.
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Make sure you’re looking into the weather forecasts in advance of it changing. You don’t want to suddenly find there’s a drastic change in temperature and you’ve done no preparation. Pay attention to the changes throughout the day and plan for when the weather is due to change. You’re better to react ahead of the changing temperatures rather than attempting to nurse a heat stressed animal because they’ve been working hard in the heat.
Ensure your facilities provide everything your animals need for the long hot Summer months. You can encourage them to take shade around the farm by placing shaded areas around fields with ample supply of water to keep them well hydrated. Pay attention to how long your animals spend in the sunshine as they may suffer from sun burn which will be extremely uncomfortable and paired with heat stress, you’ll have a real problem on your hands. Your farm is going to be much more productive and successful with happy and healthy animals so managing your facilities all year long is important. Luckily, you don’t have to specifically have areas for cooling your animals built and spend all that extra money, you simply must supply enough shade and water for the animals to have some down time to keep cool. If you’re unsure where to start, looking into advice forums on reputable websites such as Wynnstay is a fantastic place to begin.
You will need to alter your daily routine slightly to factor in the changes in weather. The additional task of watering down your animals over their bodies is something you will need to factor into your day. This will really help reduce their temperature and give them a lovely cooling off if they’re feeling particularly warm. It’s safe to do this before your animals get too hot to keep them regulated and cool.
In terms of feeding, its likely your animals will want to eat less the warmer the weather is. You may want to avoid your animals overeating and try to incorporate feeding times into the cooler periods of the day. Try feeding your animals earlier in the morning before they’re moved for the day and followed by later in the evening when the temperatures start to drop. In addition to feeds, make sure the water supply is plenty and away from sun exposure. You know how good it feels to take a cool drink on a hot day so try to provide this for your animals as well, they’ll certainly be thanking you.