Summer is often a very complicated period for animals, which can have a lot of difficulty withstanding the heat. Unfortunately, the more the years go by, the hotter the summers get, to the detriment of the animals. Farm animals are no exception to this and can suffer even more from high temperatures, as their shelters are often not as well insulated as a house. So how is it possible to cool farm animals without air conditioning?
- Water at will
Animals, like humans, need to be able to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in hot weather. It is essential to offer them water at will to enable them to hold on. To do this, do not hesitate to change it regularly so that it is always clean (unclean water can indeed be a vector of sometimes serious diseases). For the hottest days, you can also put ice cubes in the animals’ water to keep it always cool. Yes, animals also like cold water!
- An adapted shelter
If you wish to protect your animals from the heat and therefore from the sun, you will have to invest in a suitable shelter. It must of course be big enough to allow the animals to move around easily, and above all be made of suitable materials that provide good insulation and thus protect them from the heat. For some animals, a special anti-UV niche may be necessary and will allow your hairy friends to stay cool in spite of the heat wave.
- Water in the food
As mentioned earlier, hydration is essential for animals to stay healthy in the sweltering heat. Sometimes providing clean, cool water is not enough. So you can be tricky and offer them a more “moist” diet. You can indeed (depending on the animals of course) wet vegetables so that they are even more loaded with water. For some, it is also possible to give them fruit directly, which is generally very rich in water and can thus preserve them from a heat stroke.
- Moisten animals
While humans tend to rush to water points to cool off in hot weather, some animals may also feel the need to get wet to bring the temperature down. It is obviously necessary to be delicate and careful not to panic them and especially not to hurt them. Even if water can do them good, animals may still fear it. You must also be careful not to get water in their ears.
- Use a fan
While this may not be possible for everyone, especially if there are too many animals on the farm, for human-sized operations, investing in a fan may be a good idea. It is best to place it in a shaded area or directly in the shelter where the animals are. The fan solution is particularly interesting for small animals, such as chickens or rabbits, which will really benefit from it.