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Youth Exhibitors Reminded to Keep Livestock Cool During the Fair
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/23/2014

Now that we are finally seeing more seasonal temperatures for the month of July, students participating at local and district fairs are being asked to keep their animals as cool and comfortable as possible in the heat. Leaders with the University of Wisconsin-Extension say exhibitors need to be mindful of their animal projects in this type of weather both at home or at the fair when temperatures reach above 80 degrees and the relative humidity is above 65 percent.

"This year's fair season seems to have started off not favorable for man or beast, with the high heat and humidity," said Bernie Orourke with the Young Livestock Program. "A hot fair leaves fair exhibitors looking for coolness for both themselves and their fair animals."

Orourke notes that before transportation, make sure the animals have been hydrated and sprinkled with water. Use wet shavings for bedding, and never use straw because it acts as an insulator. Animals should also be transported during the coolest part of the day, such as early morning or late evening.

If animals are located on the outside edge of a barn where sunlight shows, use tarps to shade the morning or afternoon light.

"Make sure it isn't trapping heat, making the situation worse," Orourke says.

Early release of animals from the fair may need to be considered, as well. Animal health experts say loadout procedures should always be followed. The Extension service says you and your animals are your top responsibility at the fair, so it is crucial to be there early in the morning till late at night managing them.

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