Looking After Farm Animals in the Summer

The summer season and its accompanying weather can play a significant role in a farm’s overall health and productivity. With the extreme weather conditions during summer time, farmers need to be extra vigilant as higher temperatures can significantly affect livestock’s health and well-being. The following lists demonstrate the most common types of livestock and the way each one responds to extreme heat and prolonged exposure to the sun. As there are a lot of different threats that summer can bring to a farm’s livestock, with appropriate methods, farmers can minimise the damage done to their livestock during the intense season.


  • Caring For Cattle In The Summer

Taking care of cattle in the summer is important to get the most out of your livestock, whilst keeping them safe and comfortable throughout the hot summer months. Prevention and planning ahead of time is the key to have a successful summer on the farm.

In hotter climates, cattle can become stressed from the heat and have significant increases in their respiration rates in an attempt to cool their bodies down. You can test whether the respiration rate is at a dangerous level by measuring how many breaths your cattle are taking per minute. If this is over 60 breaths per minute, actions should be taken to cool them down to safer levels.

Providing lots of shade for cattle to protect them from the sun is one effective way to mitigate the risk of distress and dehydration for them from a rapid change in temperature. By providing enough covered and shady spots for cattle, you can reduce the levels of solar radiation they are exposed to by 50%. Another important factor is to provide your cattle and other livestock with enough water to avoid. If you can plan in advance, this is completely avoidable.

  • Keeping Pig Cools In The Summer

Pigs are one of the most likely of livestock to be affected by the sun, being very susceptible to both sunburn and heat stress.

Repeated heat stress and repeated refusals events compound to reduce the growth rate of your pigs. Heat stress can impact all aspects of pig production as well as herd health and reproductive performance.

One of the most effective methods is to offer your pigs with an abundance of both water and mud is vital when keeping them outdoors, to ensure that they are not damaged by the extreme heat. Providing your pigs with at least twice as much water on hot days as they drink normally in terms of both amount of water and times offered during the hottest parts of the day. Furthermore, allowing them to use water to facilitate evaporative cooling by setting up water drip lines or sprinklers to let pigs get wet with enough space to let them dry. Without drying, evaporation does not work to cool the pig. Another method is to adjust the feeding times by providing feed during cooler times of the day when pigs are more likely to eat. Look at Wynnstay PLC for quality food for your pigs.

  • Signs Of Animal Heat Stress

Here are some general signs that farmers should look out when looking after their livestock in the summer weather conditions:

  1. Increased saliva production
  2. Reduced appetite
  3. Sharp increase in intake of water
  4. Higher respiration rates
  5. Panting and loss of consciousness