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Monday, June 21, 2010

Way Too Hot

Martok
with Sue Weaver, Hobby Farms Contributing Editor

Baatiste and Sam
Photo by Sue Weaver
An awful thing happened on our farm yesterday afternoon.

Our mama sheep, Baatiste, died from heat stroke. Her baby lamb, Sam, is so sad and so is our Mom. She’s also really mad at herself for letting Baatiste get so fat. Fat animals are lots more prone to heat stress than fit guys like me. Uzzi had better watch out!

Today is Midsummer. Midsummer is the first day of summer, or at least that’s what the calendar says. But it’s 102 degrees with a heat index of 112 today and it’s been hot for two weeks already!

Our sheep had their haircuts this year and they have shade and lots of cool water to drink. They lie around in the afternoon, panting, and usually they’re okay. But yesterday afternoon Baatiste started panting really hard with her tongue sticking out.

When Mom saw that, she brought a fan out for Baatiste and tied it to the fence in the shade and she brought Baatiste her own big bucket of cool water too. But Baatiste didn’t get better. Instead, she started to bloat. Baatiste began staggering and Mom ran in to make a bloat remedy for her.

When it was almost done, Dad came in and told her Baatiste was gone.

So, don’t let your animals get fat. And if they’re already fat, make especially sure they have what they need to survive really hot weather.

If they are dogs or other animals that live in the house, keep them indoors where it’s air conditioned. If they’re outside animals like me and Uzzi, make sure they have lots of shade and plenty of cool water all day and try to set up a fan to keep them cool.

There are lots of places on the Internet where you can read about preventing heat stroke in pets and farm animals. Don’t take a chance, check them out. Then you won’t have to be sad like my mom and Sam.

• Horses
• Dogs
• Cats
• Chickens
• Goats and sheep
• Llamas and Alpacas
• Cattle
• Pigs

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Way Too Hot

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Reader Comments
Thanks for posting this, definitely gets me thinking about my own animals. So Sorry for your loss!
Beth, Montana City, MT
Posted: 7/21/2010 9:17:13 AM
How sad!
Lauren, Lakewood, CO
Posted: 6/30/2010 8:13:27 AM
So sorry for the loss!! Mom's putting us on a diet right away -- no need for the grain in the summer with all the tasty nibbles in the yard and along the fence line. We seem to be handling the heat fairly well so far (90's), but Mom's a little worried now. She's been leaving us out 24/7 so we have plenty of open space and fresh air and shade.
Isis & Anat, Dyke, VA
Posted: 6/29/2010 12:43:55 PM
Hi Martok,

Please tell your mom I'm sorry for her loss, and I hope Sam the Lamb will be ok.

I know about losing animals to heat waves. A few years ago we had weather in the 110 - 120s here, which is unusual for where we live. We lost a record number of birds that year, in spite of the fans we put in their coops. It was hard.

We are having hot weather here now too. Our goats don't seem to mind the heat, and the chickens are adjusting. I hope they will make it through the summer.
Ariel, Mokelumne Hill, CA
Posted: 6/28/2010 12:19:52 PM
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