It’s that dreaded time of year again where everything is burning up! We were blessed today with a nice cooling shower, wasn’t much rain but every little bit helps. Currently we have had heat indexes of 104 and all the grass and trees are brown and droopy. The ponds and creeks are drying up and the worse is animals getting hot!

I want to give some helpful tips for those dealing with grueling heat and animals. When dealing with livestock you can’t just bring them in to the conditioning.

  • Livestock in Pastures – Full access to water and shade
  • Livestock kept in stalls – need fan, good circulation for air to flow through.
  • Refill water containers several times a day depending on heat. That gives them access to cold fresh water.
  • You can also add frozen water bottles to water troughs – We use 2 litter bottles, milk jugs, water and pop plastic bottles. You can also just add ice.
  • Rabbits – we will not only change their water several times a day but will also give them a frozen bottle to get up against if they too hot. Rabbits usually like to scratch and bite their bottles so those usually end up as a one time use only. Frozen ceramic tiles.
  • Chickens – you can put frozen bottles in or ice cubes in their water.
  • Make sure there is good ventilation and fresh water if nothing else.
  • Provide wading pools for those that will get in one.

Signs of overheating

  • stops eating
  • wing spreading
  • seeks shade
  • wallowing
  • drooling
  • open mouth breathing
  • panting
  • less activity
  • urinating more
  • panting
  • frothing at the mouth
  • respiratory rate increases dramatically
  • tongue out
  • neck stretched out along with body

What do you do if they start to overheat?

What to do if you see these signs..

  • Get COLD water and rub some in their ears
  • Put cold cloth over their body and wash face with cold water. Wrap cold drenched towels around them if possible.
  • Make sure in shade
  • Put a fan on them if possible
  • Apply rubbing alcohol on the belly and between the rear legs to maximize natural cooling.
  • Spray cool misting on them as long as they don’t have wool. If large animal this soak with cold water.
  • Do not spray water on the backs of woolly sheep or llamas to cool them. This works for most animals, but it seals sheep and llama wool in a way that does not allow air to pass through. Without air movement on the skin, no cooling can occur. However, if you can completely submerge the animal in a pool or safe creek, this can help.
  • Make cool drinking water and electrolyte to drink easily available, but they may not be able to drink voluntarily in severe cases
  • Try to keep them from stressing anymore than you have too

I hope you find this helpful and I pray we all survive the extreme summer temperatures! If you have any questions then please feel free to contact me at


Amanda Goodwin

I am the mother of 2 beautiful daughters and blessed enough to have found my soul mate, even if it was a little later in life. We live on a small farm located in Delight, Arkansas where we raise a variety of quality livestock. We do occasionally take in rescue and owner surrender livestock.

One thought on “HOT! HOT! HOT!

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