Late Summer Heat Wave Could Stress Livestock

Regulating body temperature becomes difficult for all horses when temperatures exceed 90 degrees, so avoid exercising them during very hot periods.
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Late Summer Heat Wave Could Stress Livestock
Offer horses frequent drinks during work in hot weather to help them maintain water balance and relieve the urge to drink a lot of water after exercise. | Photo: Thinkstock
This year in Kentucky, much of the summer has felt like early fall, but the heat is going to rally over the next several days, prompting concern about livestock heat stress.

“Air temperature and humidity can combine into a one-two punch that makes it hazardous for people and animals,” said Matthew Dixon, meteorologist for the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Dew point temperatures above 65 degrees lead officials to declare livestock heat stress emergency alerts.”

Dixon said temperatures over the past seven weeks have been below normal, and the livestock heat stress index has stayed below dangerous and emergency categories. However, very hot and muggy conditions will overtake much of the state with temperatures in the upper 80s to mid-90s through the next week as an upper-level ridge of high pressure takes hold.

“In western parts of Kentucky, the heat will be more noticeable,” Dixon said. “We expect highs out there to reach into the upper 90s with heat indices reaching upwards of 105 degrees. That will definitely push the livestock heat stress index into the emergency category

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