Iowa cattle producers encouraged to watch cattle closely as high heat is predicted this week
The heat situation for cattle will be in the danger and emergency areas for three days this week, according to the USDA's
"It's clear that we will have temperatures near 100 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday," said Matt Deppe, CEO for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association (ICA). "This will clearly put all cattle at risk. Compared to other animals, cattle rely on respiration more than sweating to cool down. Wind and cool nights can help, but when temperatures are this high, producers must also consider other ways to keep their livestock comfortable."
Clean fresh water - consumption of water can double during heat events. Cattle need at least 2 gallons per 100 pounds per day during heat events. Additionally, make sure cattle have adequate room to drink and that supply lines can provide water fast enough.
Shift to feeding a higher percentage of feed in the afternoon and consider lowering the energy content by five percent.
Provide shade if possible. UV radiation is many times the critical factor for livestock losses due to heat stress.
If necessary, begin sprinkling cattle with water if signs of heat stress are evident.
Deppe stated producers who start using fans or providing water sprinklers on their cattle should be prepared to use that process until more moderate temperatures return.
Cattle producers can monitor the forecasted heat stress index and find tips for cooling cattle at http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=21306 . More information on preventing heat stress in cattle is available at http://vetmed.iastate.edu/, and type "heat stress cattle" in the search box on the upper right.
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