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Warning: Heat Stress, Sheep

28 June 2018

Perfect summer weather but be on the lookout for heat stress in sheep e.g. an extended neck and increased panting, even when standing still.  If a sheep’s body temperature continues to increase, it will eventually collapse.  Counter intuitively, a thick fleece is not necessarily a bad thing as it helps regulate body temperature.  Conversely, newly shorn sheep can be more susceptible in this hot weather.

Actions to take:

  • Avoid driving sheep long distances
  • Only move a mob in early morning or late evening
  • Minimise other stresses like vaccination etc if they can be delayed
  • Provide shade but watch for fly problems
  • Ensure a clean and adequate supply of water is available, noting that some small streams have dried-up.
  • In early lambing flocks, shear tups but consider housing during the hottest part of the day.

Written by Robert Logan, for further information contact

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