Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Death in Cattle Part 2: Offering Shade and Reducing Workload
When it comes to keeping your cattle safe from the heat, offering shade seems like an obvious answer. On the other hand, offering the proper type of shade may not seem quite so obvious.
While your cattle will certainly appreciate a shady spot and will utilize it if the heat gets to be too much, they also may not use the provided shade if the area if the shaded area is not a comfortable space. For example, a shady area that is located along water may also be swarming with biting flies. Or, the shady area may be located in a space that does not receive any wind or airflow. Generally speaking, cattle prefer to spend their time on high spots or ridges that are away from flies and offer a cooling breeze.
Just as shade is important, so is taking steps to reduce the workload of your cattle. If you must work your cattle, try to do it in the early morning or late in the day when the temperatures are cooler. You should also try to avoid bunching them up and you should give them rest periods throughout the day. Even simple stress can elevate the body temperature of your cattle, so take steps to reduce stress in order to help them stay as cool as possible.