Livestock Corner: Keeping animals cool at fairtime | Living the Country Life

Livestock Corner: Keeping animals cool at fairtime

Keeping animals cool, barns should be properly ventilated to minimize heat stress

Fair Time

It's county fair time, and many of you are sweating out your animal projects. Why is it that the hottest temperatures of the year always spike when the country fair comes to town? The radiant sun is firing down, the humidity is sky-high, and you're stuck in a cattle barn. Granted, these are all part of showing animals at the county fair, so while you're cooling off by sipping a chilly lemonade, don't forget to keep your livestock comfortable, too.

Good air exchange

Since livestock, exhibitors, and fair- goers all spend a considerable amount of time in the show buildings, it's important for the buildings to be properly ventilated to minimize heat stress. Fairground buildings need good air exchange to keep the inside temperatures as close as possible to the outside temps. When the temperature and humidity cannot be lowered, more air movement across the people and animals removes heat, which reduces the heat stress.

However, fair buildings don't lend themselves to being ventilated like some commercial livestock facilities that use tunnel ventilation during hot summer months. County fair buildings cannot easily be converted to tunnel ventilation because they are designed for animals and people to be continuously entering and exiting the facility. Also, the cost of the fans needed to create a 3- to 4-mph flow rate would typically be too great.

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