Tips to Beat Heat Stress in Cattle this Summer

June 17, 2019


With the quickly approaching summer temperatures, here are some tips from your Central Valley Ag Feed Team to help keep cattle comfortable and on feed. The most important factor is water quality. Keep your cattle tanks, automatic waters, and buckets clean and full of fresh, cool water. Dirty, stale, and warm water isn’t something we would drink ourselves so neither should our animals. Check waters daily to ensure they are running properly and free of debris. Without water consumption, cattle eat less which leads to decreased gains. Not only is this an important factor in feedlot cattle but show cattle as well.

Next is shade. Pastures with trees or open buildings give cattle relief from direct sunlight. For enclosed buildings, it’s important to use fans to help move the air around. Many local feedlots have shades in the pens with cattle over 1000lbs or in their hospital pens. Older cows and fleshy cattle are most susceptible to heat stress. Cow calf producers should also keep in mind that it’s during these hot summer months when their bulls should be working to get cows bred.  If heat stressed, the bull may not be doing his job which could lead to open cows in the fall.

If it’s necessary to work cattle or transport them, try to do it early in the morning with the lowest amount of stress put on the animal as possible. When the temps stay high throughout the day and during the night, cattle never get a chance to cool down. Sprinklers are another way to help cool the ground and cattle. However, a mist rather than large drops may increase humidity and defeat the purpose. Using a fly control product/program and products such as Purina’s Supermix Beef Abate combat negative impacts on metabolic & digestive function during times of heat stress. These products can be purchased at your local Central Valley Ag feed location. When dealing with the heat, it’s best to be proactive and have a management plan. If producers have any questions, contact your local CVA Feed Sales Specialist and we will work to design a program to best fit your herds needs.

by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 6/17/2019 2:47:22 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments