For many of you it may be nothing, but a sign that you won’t be mowing your yard tonight and the kids will be playing inside as you head to your office job where you can soak in the a/c all day. This summer I haved joined that crew as I finish my summer internship, but to livestock producers across the country the words HEAT ADVISORY, RECORD HIGHs and anything else involving hot weather means one thing….LOTS OF SWEATING! For my grandpa, dad and uncle it means that our cattle need to be checked on more than once and a sure bet that some calves are probably going to need doctored.
My family raises purebred Shorthorn cattle, its our livelihood, and to make it such our number one priority has to be the health and well-being of our animals. In reality our animals get better treatment than our own bodies do at times. When battling the heat, my family works twice as hard at keeping everything cool by being sure the have shade, water, and the proper diets to keep them healthy. Extreme heat most likely will result in doctoring several calves that develop breathing problems and treating for external parasites that will most likely flock all of the herd. trust me its not fun.
On top of that during this EXTREME HEAT, we are smack dab in the middle of show season, so my sister is getting up early to put our show calves under fans and rinse them to help cool them off and keep the hair she has worked so hard to grow. Along with that she is getting up early to drive the truck and trailer to the next show so they are done traveling before it gets too hot! She will unload the cattle and quickly set up the stalls so she can get the cattle under fans, provide them with water and get them a bath before they bake from the heat. All the while she will sit with them all day long to clean up after them and be sure the don’t become overheated.
So for any of you sitting in your office job in the A/C who think that farmers and livestock producers don’t properly care for their animals, go sit outside for awhile and for every drop of sweat you feel triple that for the sweat coming from my dad and sister while caring for our animals in conditions where everyone is warned to “stay inside”!
Going to sweat my @$$ off at state fair!!
Check out this link to a great article about heat and showing livestock: http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/jul/23/livestock-relies-on-humans-during-heat/