Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts, and developing a plan for days of high to extreme temperature is essential in ensuring that your animals will have sufficient shade and water on those very hot days. Unless you are around to continually check water containers then water should be provided through automatic or reticulated systems rather than in containers that may be emptied or tipped over by thirsty animals. It is preferable that shelter includes sufficient room for all animals to be able to lie down, as this assists with cooling.
Moving animals during cooler hours can decrease the impact of high temperatures on production performance. If transport is absolutely necessary, the journey plan should minimise the effects of hot weather on the animals; pre-determine your route, mark out a map with places of shade and perhaps water availability (such as rest stops). If it is necessary to stop, park the vehicle in the shade and at right angles to the wind direction to improve wind flow between animals during hot weather. See the specific species information below for further detailsTreating heat stressIf your animals are showing signs of heat stress the following actions can be taken to cool them down:move them to the shade immediately, preferably somewhere with a breeze. If animals are too stressed to move, pick them up and move them or provide shade where they areoffer plenty of cool clean water, but encourage them to drink small amounts oftenspray them with cool water, especially on the legs and feet, or stand them in water.


This information note aims to inform owners about how to be prepared and protect their animal's welfare during periods of high temperature.Managing animals during hot weatherExtreme heat causes significant stress for all animals. Shelter is especially important for very young or old animals or animals that are in poor condition or sick. Group mentality may mean that even when animals have access to several smaller areas of shelter they will tend to camp together crowding under one source and around water.
While shelter and water should ideally be close together, care should be taken with livestock that this does not result in animals camping around the water source, causing overcrowding and preventing all animals from accessing water. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to reduce the impacts of high temperatures on animals.WaterThe provision of a plentiful supply of clean, cool water and shade is essential! Animals which are tethered or confined and cannot move themselves to shelter should be located in a position where they will have access to shade and water during the heat of the day.
Placement of troughs should also be carefully considered to prevent animals crowding between fences and the trough.
Water troughs or containers should be large enough and designed in such a way that all animals have easy access.


The best type of shelter during extreme heat protects the animals from the sun and allows for the cooling effect of wind. Provide animals with high quality feed to maintain nutrient intake without excessive heat production, and feed out in early morning or evening when are temperatures lower.HorsesHorses that are heat stressed may also show signs of excessive sweating and reduced feed intake.
If insufficient shelter is provided for large groups of livestock there is the risk of animals crowding together under shelter resulting in smothering.
For further information refer to the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Poultry.Maintaining air temperature in intensive animal housesMaintaining air temperature at a comfortable level during periods of extreme heat is essential for animals that are intensively housed, such as poultry, pigs and laboratory animals. Dogs have the following signs of heat stress:dry nose (caused by dehydration)weaknessmuscle tremorscollapseCats, dogs and other petsAlways provide plenty of cool, clean water and shade for the animal.
Protect hairless and light-coated dogs and white cats with sunscreen when your animal will be outside in the sun for an extended period of time.



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