WINCHESTER, Ky. (FOX 56) – On Thursday, temperatures reach 92-degrees in Clark County, and high temperatures can pose a dangerous threat towards animals, including livestock.
Shane Wiseman, owner of Wiseman Farms in Winchester, said he’s been making adjustments to the heat, as well his cattle.
Wiseman owns almost 1600 acres of land and has 500 female cows on his farm. He’s been farming is whole life and said he doesn’t remember it being this hot in June.
“The temperatures we’re having right now you normally see late July and August,” Wiseman said.
Trying to raise pounds of beef, Wiseman said the current heatwave is not helping.
“It’s just like a person, if you’re outside in the sun, you come in and say, ‘Gosh, I just sweated off 10 pounds,’ you know we don’t want the cows to lose any weight,” Wiseman said.
One important part of his job in the heatwave is making sure his cattle are near pastures where there’s plenty of shade and water, and Wiseman said, his cows will do the rest.
“They’re very smart,” Wiseman said. “They’ll find the coolest spot and go lay down. They’re doing their eating at night while its cool, and then they go back in. We’ve got ponds on all of our farms and they’ll use that like a big swimming pool.”
Wiseman said a cow’s body temperature is 101.5 degrees, so he is not worried about the cattle overheating too easily, but he is concerned that the heat could slow down their breeding.
“Our breeding season for our spring calving herd, is April 15 to June 15,” Wiseman said. “You don’t get nearly as high of a conception rate, or the pregnancy rate in the live stock, so if it stays hot here for a long period of time like the forecast suggests for the next week or so, that could have an effect on next year’s calf crop.”
To beat the heat, Wiseman adjusted his farm’s start time to 6 a.m. to get going with the cattle and what they will need for the day.
“Because that’s our livelihood, so we’re practicing good animal husbandry,” Wiseman said.
Wiseman said with the recent rain, there is plenty of natural water on is farm, but Kentucky is expecting another heatwave, so they may run out of that reserve. If that happens, they will be able to tap into the city’s water reserve to make sure his cattle stays hydrated.