Heat and humidity kill cattle - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Heat and humidity kill cattle


HARMONY, Minn. (KTTC) -- The high heat and humidity in the upper Midwest has claimed the lives of dozens of cattle south of Harmony.

"The heat and humidity makes a nasty combination," says Veterinarian Dr. Tom Sautter.

On a cattle farm just across the border in northern Iowa an estimated 100 cattle died due to the heat says the Canton Fire Chief Jon Nordsving.

The Harmony and Canton Fire Departments were called in to help cool the cattle off.

"They were shooting their duct guns off into the cattle and then we had our grass rigs going up and down isles spraying down the cows misting them and then they were following up with fans to blow in them," says Nordsving

Dr. Sautter says in order to keep livestock alive in this heat, they first need to be kept out of the sun.

"And then plenty of access to fresh water and maybe water on them spraying, sprinklers, or sprinkling systems, misters," says Sautter

Also, he says, the use of fans to create a breeze will help.

Using Dr. Sautter's method, the fire departments were able to save most but not all of the livestock.

"After about two ours you could see the cattle coming around. They started looking a little perkier than they had when we first got there," says Nordsving

Dr. Sautter says the heat and humidity affect livestock in different ways.

"The bigger fatter ones, fat cattle seem to be....it's harder on them, they can't take as much."

The Preston Veterinarian says there are a number of ways to tell if livestock are overheating.

"They will look distressed, they'll start breathing hard. Open mouth breathing, tong hanging out. They get kinda wobbly shaky," says Sautter

There have also had unconfirmed reports of cattle dying from the heat in the Lewiston area.

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