News & Advice

Heat Stress on Beef and Sheep Farms

Dec 6, 2021 | Beef cattle, Bulls, Dry stock, Grazing youngstock, Sheep, Working Dog

Ali Cullum, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Morrinsville

Dairy cows are not the only animals on our farms suffering from heat stress. All ruminants have a higher body temperature than humans (due to their rumen fermentation) and are less tolerant to hot environmental temperatures. Cows and sheep find it hot as soon as temperatures rise over 21 degrees Centigrade. Other animals on the farm also find it hot, particularly our working dogs.

We can help reduce heat stress by:

  • Providing shade
  • Providing plentiful supplies of drinking water
  • Moving stock in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower
  • Shearing sheep
  • Hair cut for long haired dogs (if you don’t have suitable shaving equipment, your veterinarian will happily provide grooming services)

Remember that if your dogs have shade provided by their kennel, you need to check how much the kennel heats up inside in direct sunlight – it may be necessary to provide extra shade, or to shade the kennel during the summer.

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