About Me

Kentucky, United States
Fourth generation beef producer, wife, mother, 4-H & FFA supporter, agriculture advocate, Christian, WKU alum, love livestock shows, basketball, college football, Dallas Cowboys. All things agriculture.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Helping Livestock Cope with Heat Stress

     A large percentage of our country is dealing with hot and dry weather much earlier than experienced in most years, and The Weather Channel has forecast temperatures above 100 degrees for the next five days for my little corner of the world here in Kentucky. Like most livestock producers we have been planning and making arrangements to care for our beef cattle, both in the field and in the show barn as well as for our goats, pigs, and one lamb.
     Livestock stress during high temperatures just like humans, and they will consume larger amounts of water if available. If you have ponds, streams, or creeks, on your farm, monitor water levels making sure adequate amounts are available during periods of drought. If all ponds are located in open fields with no shade, water tanks in shaded areas would be a good option if possible. Also, remember that when animals drink more water they will also urinate more, losing important salts and minerals so it is important to keep loose trace mineral salt available.
     As a quick heat reducer, water misters or even regular lawn and garden sprinklers attached to posts in shaded areas can also keep livestock cool. Just be sure to have a large shaded area available because animals crowding in an area can increase body temperatures and stress.
     We do not have automatic waterers inside our barn, so our show stock rely on us to provide fresh, clean water daily. It is very important to empty, rinse, and refill all water tubs for these animals daily to be sure water consumption is at its highest. Adding electrolytes to the water of show animals is always beneficial when traveling to and from shows, however, during excessive heat it's an added bonus for the animals and will often increase their consumption. Remember that copper is toxic to sheep and to purchase electrolyes and minerals labeled for sheep.
     Fans keep air moving in barns and we use them daily on our show cattle, goats, and pigs. Checking the ventilation in a barn or facility is important, and taking the time to open doors or reposition a fan can make a difference in the air movement. Adding misters to the fan cages is an added bonus and can reduce the air temperature considerably in a barn. If misters are not an option, a fogger which attaches to the hose of a livestock blower can help to lightly spray and  cool cattle. Misters and foggers can be found at most livestock show supply businesses.
     To keep all livestock eating well during heat stress, feed during cooler or coolest times of the day, early morning or late evening. Yes, it's just common sense that even the livestock don't want to eat when it's hot, but they need to continue eating well to grow or produce milk for their offspring.
     Hauling livestock to fairs and shows can be risky in extreme heat. Consider the distance and haul livestock only in early morning, late evening or overnight for their safety, or the best decision may be to just stay home.
    
    

    
    
    
    

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kentucky Youth Livestock Shows Underway

     This is the first full week of June and the Kentucky youth livestock show season is well underway! The second of eight district goat shows sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture was Monday, and on Saturday the Kentucky Colonel District Lamb Show was held in Georgetown and the Rough River District Swine Show was held in Hardinsburg.
    It's a very busy time of the year for all 4-H and FFA members as they work at home feeding, grooming, and training the animals to lead and then traveling to district shows, county fairs, and the junior livestock expos with their families. Dates, rules, and information about all district shows sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture can be found at the following link: http://www.kyagr.com/marketing/fair/index.htm
    Below you will find photographs of winners of a few of the shows. I will update as soon as I receive more information and photographs. If you have results or photographs of  district or county fair show results, email at quiggins@scrtc.com

Bluegrass District Goat Show

     Bluegrass District Goat Show Grand Champion Market Goat, exhibited by Jonathan Darby
Photograph to be posted soon!


        Bluegrass District Goat Show Reserve Grand Champion, exhibited by Jonathan Darby.    
              Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Darby                                           
Bluegrass District Goat Show Middleweight Division Champion, exhibited by Jonathan Darby.
Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Darby.
Purchased in the Kentucky Proud Elite Breeders Sale
 
Bluegrass District Goat Show Grand Champion Novice Market Goat, exhibited by Elle Renfro.
Photograph courtesy of Dwight Renfro.
Purchased in the Kentucky Proud Elite Breeders Sale

Central Kentucky District Goat Show


Central Kentucky District Goat Show Grand Champion Market Goat, exhibited by Cory Wallace. Photograph courtesy of Double Trouble Livestock


Central Kentucky District Goat Show Reserve Grand Champion Market Goat, exhibited by Jonathan Darby. Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Darby 


Central Kentucky District Goat Show Reserve Champion Novice Market Goat, exhibited by Elle     Renfro. Elle was also named Novice Showmanship Champion. Photograph courtesy of Dwight Renfro. Purchased in the Kentucky Proud Elite Breeders Sale



Kentucky Colonel District Lamb Show

Kentucky Colonel District Lamb Show Grand Champion Market Lamb, exhibited by Bryce Amburgey.     Photograph courtesy of Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Division of Show and Fair Promotion

 

Kentucky Colonel District Lamb Show Grand Champion Commercial Ewe, exhibited by McKenzie Doyle.          Photograph courtesy of Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Division of Show and Fair Promotion


Rough River District Swine Show

Samantha Ballman was named Showmanship Overall Champion at the Rough River District Swine Show.    Photograph currently unavailable







All Photographs on this post are used with permission of owners and credits given beneath each photograph.