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Extreme heat forcing farmers to adjust with livestock animals

Farmers and livestock
Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-21 22:50:17-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The hottest days of the summer are ahead of us. Not only does the summer heat make people in South Texas uncomfortable, it can also impact farmers and their livestock.

Many of them have had to adjust in order to keep their animals alive and well during the summer months.

For example, farmer Daniel Wendland told KRIS 6 News that he has a particular breed of livestock which are adaptable in this particular heat. This means that the cattle, which are a Brahman breed, is used to being outside in the heat.

Wendland also has several Charolais breeds. They're white, so their skin reflects off the sun and isn’t impacted by the heat as much.

Some farmers are going towards are more confined air-conditioned system method for their animals, but that can be very expensive. However, Wendland said his biggest help is simple. Just a mixture of shade and water and other practices to help preserve his animals.

"We try not to have them too fat this time of year but healthy. They more fat they have, the hotter they are to begin with," Wendland said.

Scott Frazier also said the same with his animals this time of year. For others, particularly dairy farmers, it’s hard for them to milk their cows during the day because of the increase of body temperature.

Frazier says the heat also impacts his cattle and their efforts to nurse their calves.

"Those calves are nursing those cows, using that milk," Frazier said. "During some weaning time, we have a lighter calf because during that stress period it went through, it didn’t eat as much as normally and she didn’t produce as much as she maybe normally would under better conditions. We’ll see lighter weaning weight calves and we it may force us to ween them a little earlier just to protect the cows and that range.”

Although there’s no way of escaping the heat, everyone seems to be on the same page, including the animals. The answer is to find shade, drinks lots of water, and stay cool.