Plan water needs for heat stressSome parts of the country are heating up already, while others have some time before feedlot heat stress really descends.

If your feedlot clients have some time to plan ahead, Nels Lindberg, DVM, Production Animal Consultation, Great Bend, Kan., offers these tactics to prepare for increased water needs on the feedlot during times of heat stress.  

  • Know what the availability of water tanks is on the feedlot.
  • Prepare the permanent water tanks for the summer, and determine if tanks need their lids removed to increase space or have the balls taken out. Water tanks need to have the ability to refill at an adequate enough pace during high volume usage.
  • Regular, open-faced cement water tanks seem to be the best type water tank for times of heat stress. Frost-free tanks are great in the winter, but in times of heat stress may not offer enough water for high volume use.
  • If using sprinklers, manage them so they don’t create mudholes and increase ground level humidity.  
  • If a yard has known water flow issues in times of heat stress, address those so that increased output can occur at the peak needed times. This can be accomplished through larger water lines, larger holding tanks, towers, or pools, added wells or lowering wells.
  • Ensure good, clean, well-groomed pens and eliminate manure or mud build-up. This reduces the ground level humidity.
  • Have a plan for communicating with the local fire department if needed to soak cattle during a heat stress emergency.

Read the full article “Plan now for heat stress” in Bovine Veterinarian here.