Livestock Health Management Tips

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Spring can bring about warm, wet weather. Fluctuating temperatures and wet, muddy conditions can affect the health of your livestock. Livestock may need special care and extra energy to cope with the change in weather. Below are some tips for spring healthcare management:

  • Be sure to always provide your animals with access to adequate, dry shelter. Shelter will allow animals to escape from harsh weather conditions.
  • Schedule a regular vaccination and deworming program to promote good health in your animals. A veterinarian can assist in helping to develop a vaccination and deworming program for your animals. Spring is the time of the year that worm eggs are hatching and pastures are being infected due to the warm temperatures.
  • Make sure to feed livestock a diet that meets the nutritional requirements of your animal to cope with weather conditions.
  • Be sure to provide your animal with access to clean water.

Though spring has not fully sprung, it’s not too early to consider summer healthcare management as well. Summer brings about hot, humid conditions and some animals’ natural ability to cool themselves is limited. Some of the practices for spring healthcare can also be used for summer.

  • Providing shelter is essential to keeping animals cool from the hot sun, lowering the risk of heat stress.
  • Cool water should be provided at all times to encourage water intake. Pond water may become hot on the surface and unappetizing to drink; a supplemental source is necessary.
  • If animals are housed in barns, ventilation is necessary to keep animals from becoming overheated.

No matter what season it is, remember to take care of your livestock as well as yourself, especially during hot summer months, to prevent heat exhaustion or stress. Be sure to consume enough water to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks when working outdoors.

For more information, please contact Taylor Chavis, Extension Livestock Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at, or visit our website at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.