AUSTRALIA – Farm animals lack the temperature regulation abilities humans have, and need sufficient shelter and water during hot spells, rural Australians are hearing.
Water access should be checked, with poultry welfare also a priority, according to a timely announcement from the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA).
“Keep water troughs clean – especially when moving stock into a new paddock as evaporation can cause trough water to become very saline and undrinkable,” advised PIRSA deputy state controller, Roger Paskin.
“If possible don’t let animals access dams as they can be boggy and animals accessing the water may get stuck.”
Farmers should be doing daily checks for heat stress, he added.
Tell-tale signs are restlessness, vocalisation, panting and drooling. Neighbours can check animals if livestock are not situated at home.
Explaining what can be done to minimise stress from movement, he said: “If stock need to be moved it should be done during the night or the cooler part of the day, for example, early in the morning.
Livestock transporters should have contingency plans in place to handle unexpected breakdowns.”
“Poultry are also very susceptible to heat if they are kept in a shed that is not fitted with an effective cooling system,” he added.
“Poultry sheds can be cooled effectively by wetting the shed or hanging wet hessian in breezeways. Birds too need access to plenty of cool water.”
Veterinary guidance is important during high temperature periods, he concluded.
ThePoultrySite News Desk