Many of Missouri's cattle and livestock are being put to the test in this extreme heat that the Midwest. And as livestock owners and producers work to keep their animals cool and healthy, we want to share some tips that might come in handy.
You can help your animals avoid heat stress by providing adequate shade for livestock, approximately 20-40 square feet depending on their size. You can also spray your livestock with cool water to lower their body temperature - focus most of the water on their feet and legs. You might also try using a mister, depending on conditions in your area. If possible, avoid feeding or exercising them during the middle of the day and try to plan any necessary transportation for cooler early morning hours.
Most importantly, monitor your livestock for heat stress. Some indicators to look for are excessive salivation, open mouth breathing or prolonged elevation of the animal's head. If you notice any of these signs, or any other abnormal behavior from your animals, it is time to contact your veterinarian.