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Managing cows in the heat

Dairy cow in paddockWith forecast hot weather in the coming days, the North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarian team are advising stock owners to be mindful of the impacts of high temperatures on their stock.

Cattle can be affected by heat stress and signs include – increase in respiration rate, open mouth breathing, reduced feed intake, seeking shade, crowding around water troughs, drooling saliva and in severe cases collapse and death.

Owners should ensure that cattle are in a paddock that provides adequate shade opportunities for all stock, especially in the hotter parts of the day and ensure that water supply is adequate.

Dairy farmers may consider altering milking times, delaying afternoon milking and using sprinklers in the dairy yard.

It is also important to ensure farm dogs have access to plenty of shade and water – providing additional water dishes may be necessary.

Media contact:

Ian Poe, District Veterinarian, Phone 0429 987 255

Photo captions:

Adequate shade is one important method to protect cattle from heat stress