Heat Endangering Valley Livestock

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LOS FRESNOS – A Rio Grande Valley poultry farmer said he’s worried about the safety of his more than 200 chickens.

Los Fresnos resident Ed Pechacek said the summer heat can endanger his livestock if they're not properly cared for.

"When it gets over 85 degrees, they'll start panting like dogs do because they can't sweat to cool themselves," he said.

Pechacek said chickens are most comfortable in the 70 degree range.  

"At 104 degrees, they can start dropping out or going prostrate laying there. That's heat stress or heat stroke,” he said.

Pechacek told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he's lost chickens to the heat before.

Ashley Gregory with the Texas A&M AgriLife Hidalgo County Extension said it's important for livestock owners to provide shade and clean water for their animal, no matter the size or species.

"Giving then a little moisture on the ground to make a little mud or something. That can also give them an area where they can kind of get in there and stay cool,” she said.

Pechacek said he goes the extra mile to make sure his birds have plenty of water.

"I put extra water buckets in there just to make sure they stay hydrated. At 104 they'll prostrate, lay out there, and if you don't get them in the shade and pour water down their mouth there's a good chance you'll lose them,” he said.

Gregory said fans and sprinklers can keep your animals from overheating.

For other tips on keeping your animals cool in the heat you can reach out to your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office. 


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