WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – July 20, 2016 — Iowa’s continued heat wave isn’t just the subject of conversation at swimming pools and office water coolers; it’s also a concern on Iowa’s livestock farms. Iowa’s farmers work around the clock to keep their animals safe, no matter the conditions.
Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition (IFAC) Executive Director, Denny Harding says “Dog owners know that they can’t leave their pets in a hot car, even for a moment, because when temperatures climb, a pet can suffer brain damage or even death in as little as 15 minutes. But, livestock farmers around the state are also keeping a watchful eye on their animals, because disaster can strike in minutes, without proper care.”
IFAC is a network of professionals, veterinarians, animal behavior scientists, and farmers committed to answering Iowans’ questions about farm animal care and ensuring that one vision is shared by all – that every Iowa farm receives proper, humane animal care.
Management is key for Iowa farmers, and thanks to technology and innovative animal housing, livestock are more comfortable than ever before. That’s because many of today’s modern hog barns are climate-controlled to allow for constantly-regulated temperatures, continuous air flow, ventilation, and individual water delivery systems.
Today’s farmers keep a watchful eye on their herds for signs of heat stress, and move fast to treat it appropriately. Iowa farmers frequently consult their veterinarians to ensure proper prevention and care to keep their livestock at an optimum level of health; an especially important practice for Iowa cattle farmers who keep their animals on pasture throughout the summer months.
Iowa State Veterinarian, Dr. David Schmitt, says, “Iowa livestock farmers know their animals and do a tremendous job caring for them regardless of what the Iowa weather throws at them. During the hot summer months it is very important farmers closely monitor their animals, whether they are raised in a building or outside. Animals need to have adequate water and access to shade to help them weather the extremely high temperatures. It is also important farmers remain in close contact with their veterinarian who can also provide more information and answer questions.”
If you have questions about livestock care in Iowa’s ever-changing weather, visit the Iowa Farm Animal Care website at: http://www.iowafarmanimalcare.org/.