Keeping Your Cattle Cool in the Arizona Heat: Part 1 of 3
With the hot Arizona weather upon us, you may be looking for ways to ensure your cattle remain cool and healthy. In this three-part series, we will take a closer look at how to keep your cowherd safe and comfortable in the spring and summer heat.
The first step you should take toward keeping your cattle healthy is to be sure to provide high-quality forage. While animals are usually able to regulate their body temperature in order to stay in what is considered to be the “Safe Zone,” two main factors can affect body temperature. These are:
- Metabolism (the body’s process of producing heat)
- Heat of digestion (fermentation in the rumen during the digestive process produces heat)
Research has shown that high-quality forage generates less heat during digestion than low-quality forage containing more fiber. Therefore, providing a high-quality forage will help to put less of a heat load on the cattle.
To further aid with keeping the body temperature down, experts recommend feeding at least two hours after the hottest part of the day. This way, whey the generate heat due to digestion, that extra heat will not also come at the same time as when the day is hitting its highest temperatures.