Tips for keeping show animals

hydrated By Shelia Grobosky

The summer heat has been brutal, and

there doesn’t seem to be any reprieve in sight. With modified county and state fairs and livestock expos on the horizon, it is vital to keep your livestock hydrated. Water is the most essential nutrient of life. Since most show animals are in a confined area during most of their lives – either tied in a stall dur- ing the day or penned up – it is the respon- sibility of the owner/exhibitor to make sure they get the proper amount of water to keep eating and stay healthy.

Not only is water intake important to the overall health and performance of your animal, it is also important to the ap- pearance. A hydrated animal will have a healthier skin and hair coat, healthier hooves, brighter eyes and overall look healthier and more show ring ready than an animal that has not had enough water. Here are some show friendly tips to keep your animals – of any species – hydrated this summer.

• Start at home. Making sure your ani- mals drink at home is imperative to your suc- cess on the road. Water and feed intake work synergistically, and if your animals are not drinking, chances are they aren’t eating either.

• Use a bucket. Teach your animals to drink out of a bucket. This might seem trivial at first, especially if you do have automatic waterers at home. However, you won’t have that luxury on the show road.

• Keep it clean. No matter what your water source is or if you are at home or on the road, you always want to start with fresh, cool, clean water. If your buckets are dirty or your water troughs have debris in them, clean them out and start fresh. If you are using a hose that has been laying outside in the sun all day, make sure you run it first to get all the warm water out before filling your ani- mals’ water. A hot animal doesn’t want to drink hot water. You also might want to con- sider buying a water purifier and using it on your faucet at home and taking it with you. • Haul your own. If you are going to a one- or two-day show, and have the re- sources, haul your water from home. Hauling your own water in clean, enclosed plastic jugs leaves little reason for your show stock to go off water while at the show. n

8 Goat Rancher | September 2020

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