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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Heat's impact on animals

Thursday, August 4, 2011

(Photo)
With the high temperatures and the lack of rainfall, some may believe we are in a drought.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, we are not currently experiencing a drought.

The map was last updated July 26, 2011.

However, the Northeast part of the state is considered to be "abnormally dry."

Our status is likely to change if the heat and lack of rainfall continues.

If you would like to view the U.S. Drought Map for yourself, go to http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/monitor.ht....

Once there, you can click on the map for the area/region you would like to view.

You can view areas by region (i.e., the Midwest), or by state (i.e., Indiana). These maps are updated weekly.

Everyone needs to take precautions when outside in the high temperatures.

For humans, that means trying to stay in the shade, drinking plenty of fluids, not working too hard and trying to stay cool at all costs.

Animals, on the other hand, depend on their caretakers for the fluids, shelter and a place to stay cool.

Thus, during a drought, it is important that you provide your animals with food, water and shelter.

Try to make sure that the food is fresh and that the water is kept cool.

The shelter should have some ventilation in it.

If possible, provide your animal with a fan so that they can have a nice flow of air around them.

Please realize that as the temperatures increase, your livestock will often eat less but drink more.

Thus, you should take an extra effort to always provide your animals with fresh, clean, cool water to drink at all times.

A drought can cause many different problems from dead grass, an unproductive garden, dust and even health issues in cattle and other livestock.

For instance, a drought can adversely affect fertility by increasing early death of embryos and decreased semen quality in bulls.

The decrease in semen quality can last up to six weeks while the death of an embryo results in a cow not being bred this year and a loss of income for a farmer.

One way that you can prevent some health issues in livestock associated with a drought is through proper parasite control.

Farmers might want to treat their livestock more frequently for parasites during a drought since droughts are often associated with times of short pastures with increase parasite loads.

When short pastures are present, parasite eggs tend to be more concentrated in areas with low numbers of forage plants creating a need for a parasite control program.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Aug. 5-21 -- Indiana State Fair,

* Aug. 18 -- Owen County Conservationist Class, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Owen County Library,

* Aug. 22 -- Start of the Indiana Master Naturalist Course, Clay County Extension Office, 6-9 p.m. Cost $55. Contact 448-9041 to register, and

* Sept. 10 -- Nature Day, Clay County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Presentation on snakes (at 11 a.m.) and Raptors (noon).