Tips to keep livestock cool during the hot summer days

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- Temperatures in South Dakota this week have climbed into the mid-90s to over 100 degrees, making being outdoors more stressful for humans and animals.

Veterinarian Dr. Eric Knock is a partner in Prairie View Vet Clinic in central South Dakota. He says having a plentiful source of clean water is critical to helping livestock and other animals on the farm or ranch cope with the extreme heat.

Whether its in a tank, a stock dam, a well or other source, Knock says the quality of the water available does make a difference.

Knock says having shade available for livestock can also make a big difference in how well they handle the hot temperatures. He also says if animals are in an enclosed or confined space, giving them room to spread out so air can circulate is also helpful.

SDSU Extension offers livestock water testing services, free of charge, at its regional centers and several of its county Extension offices. Water samples must be collected in a clean plastic or glass container, such as a sanitized water or pop bottle or jelly jar. A quick test is conducted to determine total salts in the water. After consultation with an SDSU Extension specialist, additional laboratory testing may be suggested, but those additional tests would be at the producer’s expense.