Keeping Cool


This year hubby put up a pool for us.  Best.  Gift.  Ever.  It was a lot of work to put it up but oh it has been worth it. With record high temperatures in our area and hardly any rain fall we have all been trying to keep cool.  (No the pig in the pool picture is not ours.  I did tell my hubby though if you get a pool I get a pig.  So he owes me one!!)  Add animals into the mix and it’s often times a struggle to keep them cool.  What exactly do animals need to keep cool & hydrated on hot summer days?

Water.  Lots of cold water.  We have automatic waterers for the animals that keep the water fresh & cold.  When water is poured into a bucket it can get hot very quickly.  We have a kiddie pool full of water for the chickens & turkey to stand in as well.

Fans.  There are really cool fans out there that you can install that have misters attached to them.  I’ve been asking hubby to install one by the goats.  Even at milking time in the shade it can get stifling back there with no air flow. For dairy animals when they are strained from the heat their milk production goes down as well.

Shade.  We all know that standing in the shade can feel several degrees cooler.  Animals need shade as well.  We let our chickens out during the day so they can lounge under the trees.  The turkeys are a bit more flighty so until those climbing vines reach the top of the run we have a tarp over the outdoor run to provide shade.  We put their water under it as well to keep it cooler longer.

Breed.  Did you know that most heritage breeds are more resilient to extreme temperatures?  Animals that have been ‘created’ to produce more meat or more eggs might be weak in other areas.  Breeds that have stood the test of time are more likely to survive longer.  Research breeds of animals that are known to survive well in your area or for your land conditions.  If you have smaller pastures or wooded areas there are even cattle that are known to thrive in these environments.  Check the American Livestock Breed Conservation List to see what animals suit your area best.  We prefer these animals and we love knowing that we are preserving their breeds.

What other ways do you keep your animals cool?



Comments are welcome!