5 Management Tips to Battle Heat Stress

Jun 23, 2020

Tara Jo Bina
Countryside Feed Livestock Nutrition

Summer has made it’s presence known with heat and humidity in full force! As the summer months progress extended exposure to heat can be very stressful to animals, resulting in reduced performance. Here are a few management tips to help combat summer heat stress:
1.    Water
Access to fresh, clean drinking water is crucial for livestock under heat stress. Well hydrated animals have an increased ability to fight heat stress. Ensure pens have enough waterer space for the number of animals in the pen. Cleaning waterers often to ensure water available is fresh and palatable is also a good practice.

2.    Feeding Schedule
Hot temperatures and heat stress commonly cause reduced feed intake. One way to combat this effect is to adjust feeding schedules. Feeding a higher percentage of the daily ration at night allows your animals to eat when temperatures cool off.

3.    Shade 
The summer sun can be absolutely relentless. Installing simple shade structures in dry lots or pastures with minimal numbers of mature trees can help offer some relief to sheep and goats.

4.    Reduce Activity
Avoid moving, processing, or other stressful events in the heat of the day. Limiting these types of activities to early morning or later in the evening is a good practice.

5.    Do Not Summer Shear
Shearing should be done in the spring before hot weather arrives. One-inch fleece on sheep actually helps keep the animal cooler by dissipating heat more rapidly and helps prevent sun burns.
Heat stress is a serious concern in the summer months. Contact your Countryside Feed sales representative to discuss options for combating heat stress in your sheep and goats!


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