Keeping Your Cattle Cool in the Arizona Heat: Part 3 of 3
In this three-part series, we have been exploring ways to keep your cattle healthy during the hot spring and summer months in Arizona. In addition to proper feeding and providing shade, you can also keep your cattle cool by choosing the right time of the day to work them and by ensuring they have the proper amount of water intake.
Monitoring the Work Load
To help prevent overheating, you should avoid working your cattle in the middle of the day during the hot Arizona months. Instead, you should do as much work as possible in the early morning or in the late evening when the temperatures are cooler. You should also avoid bunching your cattle while also giving them plenty of rest periods. Remember, working your cattle can raise their body temperature from anywhere from 0.5 to 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, anything you can do to help minimize stress will also help to ensure they do not get overheated.
Monitoring Water Intake
Your cattle also need to be consuming enough water to stay healthy in the heat. Interesting, feeds contain water, especially high-moisture feeds such as silages or pasture. In addition, certain nutrients in the body produce water. Therefore, not all water needs to come from drinking water. Nonetheless, water intake does increase dramatically as temperatures increase. In fact, water requirements double when going from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you should be sure to increase the availability of water in warmer weather.