Livestock owners are reminded to take special care of their stock during the current period of extreme heat.
Primary Industries and Regions SA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Roger Paskin, said shade, shelter and plenty of cool water are the key to keeping livestock healthy during the hot weather.
“Animals need shade and shelter to protect them from the sun and wind,” he said.
“They need a supply of cool water close to the shade – animals drink up to double the amount of water in hot weather.
“Keep troughs clean especially when moving stock into a new paddock – evaporation can cause trough water to become very saline and undrinkable. Where possible, bury water pipes to prevent breakage and build-up of heat.
“If possible don’t let animals access dams at low levels. The dam can become boggy and animals accessing the water may get stuck.
“Livestock should be checked daily to ensure they are coping with the heat.
“Heat stress can be fatal for animals. The first signs of heat stress are sweating, panting, and drooling. They may be restless and bellowing.
“If you are not living at the property ask a neighbour to check the animals. And any stock movements should be minimised both on-farm and off-farm.
“If stock need to be moved it should be done during the night or the coolest part of the day, for example early in the morning.
“Livestock transporters should have contingency plans in place to handle unexpected breakdowns.
“Poultry are very susceptible to heat and if they are kept in a shed that is not fitted with an effective cooling system, the shed should be cooled by wetting the shed or hanging wet hessian in breezeways. Birds too need access to plenty of cool water.
“Pets should never be left in cars, even with the windows wound down.”
Visit www.ses.sa.gov.au for more information and advice on extreme heat.