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Posted on March 9, 2016
With the warmer weather slowly but surely heading our way, there’s no better time than the present to start preparing your livestock for the change in season.
However, for some animals, the spring season can be quite traumatic. This can mainly be due to the sudden change in temperature and the influx of babies being born. To ensure the health and the safety of your livestock this spring, here are our expert top tips.
Dealing With Temperature Changes
Although the change in weather conditions isn’t going to happen overnight, it can be extremely stressful for some animals to deal with the ever-changing temperature fluctuations, especially those who are pregnant and nearing the time to give birth, as well as older animals.
It is important to assess the conditions that your animals will be experiencing on a daily basis and decide what the best course of action is for each animal individually. If you think it will be too cold and wet – or even too hot and dry for a particular animal, place them somewhere that you believe they would be more comfortable.
It’s also important to have adequate shelter for your animals which will keep them warm and dry, but also cool when required. You can add additional hay within your livestock buildings for comfort and warmth and take it away and increase ventilation when cooling down is essential.
As the weather changes, it’s important to look out for signs of disease and general ill health in each of your animals.
Illness can be brought on by stress and environmental changes, and as we have mentioned above, spring and the subsequent weather changes can bring about both of these. When animals become stressed, it is often evident that their immune system is affected, making them more susceptible to illness and disease.
During colder, wetter weather, respiratory diseases are more common than during drier, warmer weather. If you notice any animal looking under the weather and showing signs of respiratory distress, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
Symptoms of this may include:
It also isn’t unheard of for an animal with a respiratory disease to hold themselves in a peculiar way, often with their back slightly arched and extending their neck forward in a stuff position. This is often due to pain in the thoracic region.
It is essential that you seek a veterinary professional’s advice as soon as you notice any symptoms out of the ordinary.
In order to stay warm during the spring period, you should continue to supplement your livestock’s diet on a regular basis.
They are still going to need to burn energy to keep themselves warm, even though there is a greater chance of getting out onto the pasture in the sunshine than there was in the winter.
As the weather gets gradually more reliable and warm, you can begin reducing the amount of feed that you are supplementing their diet with. We would advise that you consult your vet before drastically reducing their feed to ensure that they are still getting enough in the way of nutrition, especially if they are pregnant females or older animals who may need a slightly different diet.
There’s a lot or preparation that goes into getting your livestock ready for the spring season, so don’t leave your preparation tasks to the last minute and put your livestock at risk!
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