Arizona can be very uncomfortable during the summer. It gets hot, really hot! Worse, we also get humidity mixed in during the monsoon period of our summers. It is very important to be prepared for your little guys during these stressful times.
When it is hot out, it is best to avoid working with your animals during the hottest times of day. This can lead to heat stress on them. Signs of heat stress include panting and rapid breathing, a temperature over 105F and weakness.
If you see these signs, move your little ones to a shaded area with lots of air movement. Make sure not to spray water on the wooled areas of the body. Rather than cooling them, it can lock the heat in under the wool. Instead, try cooling them by applying water on the hairless areas of the body; for example, between the rear legs.
Water is critical during the summer. Normally goats and sheep drink one to two gallons a day of water. During the summer months this can increase greatly. Make sure there is access to water in a shaded area. Algae will grow quickly in water placed in direct sunshine. Clean the water buckets if contaminated. Goats and sheep will not drink as much water if it is not clean and cool. You might need to clean and change the water buckets more often to ensure your sheep and goats drink enough.
We don’t like being in the direct sun, neither do they! Shade is very, very important to your little ones. If you have nice, big shade trees available, this is most desirable. If not, even a simple structure with shade cloth to provide relief from the sun is adequate. Make sure it’s big enough to shade comfortably all your little ones at the same time.
Whatever you have available, remember to keep the area clean and dry. Your little ones will be spending much time around there and dirty, messy areas can lead to health problems such as foot problems, pneumonia and sores. Dehydration is a dangerous problem in the summer. If any of your little ones have diarrhea, they are at risk for dehydration.
Please give us a call with any questions!!