It’s important to have a plan in place ahead of severe weather to protect your animals and livestock.
As Namibia enters its rainy season, it is imperative that farmers have contingency plans in place to care for their livestock.
Small livestock such as goats and sheep are especially susceptible to bad weather and could develop severe health conditions, or even die due to harsh weather such as thunderstorms and cold.
Animals rely on the farmer to protect them from these harsh weather realities to keep them safe in all types of emergencies. The steps we take or don’t take will directly impact their well-being.
Don’t wait. Start now. Is your kraal adequate to protect your livestock against heavy downpours? Do you have alternative places to hold young kids and calves for the night in extreme wet weather? The ball is in your court.
Craft an emergency plan for your animals in such adverse weather conditions. Experts argue that having a plan in place to protect animals and livestock is the best defence against severe weather. Re-evaluating that plan periodically can make a huge difference and save valuable time during an emergency.”
Think ahead and try to implement some of these precautionary measures:
Build a strong shelter
Make sure you have a sturdy shelter that can protect animals and livestock from the elements. It should be able to sustain high winds and heavy rain and keep them all dry. Consider building it on high ground to avoid flooding. A livestock shelter should provide enough space for each animal. A general guideline is to provide enough space roughly four times its body size. This will help keep each animal comfortable during very uncomfortable situations.
Have adequate food and water
Provide adequate supplies for animals and livestock. This will be important if you aren’t able to reach them for a day or so. They should have plenty of food and a steady supply of water to sustain them throughout a severe weather event.
Provide adequate cooling options
Excessive heat can be hazardous to livestock and other animals. Make sure shaded areas are available and provide an adequate amount of water. Animals might drink more on extremely hot days. Provide proper ventilation and install fans or open barn doors to keep air moving. Some animals might need sprinklers to keep cool or to get their hooves wet to keep body temperatures normal.
Assess farm safety
Check the safety of your farm, or communal area and consider the condition of your home, kraals and sheds for sustainability against high winds as well as heavy rains. Take corrective action now and reassess periodically. Check low-lying areas that could easily flood and take preventable measures to protect your pets, livestock and your entire property. How best to protect your livestock and farm animals in extreme weather will depend on the size of your herds, what type of animals you have and how extreme the weather actually gets.
Providing the basics – food, water and shelter – will go a long way in keeping them safe.
Don’t be caught napping; think ahead and plan well for rainy days.