Extremely hot conditions are expected over the Karoo areas of the Western and Eastern Cape. Hot and humid weather will result in extremely uncomfortable conditions over the Breede River Valley and eastern interior of the Western Cape, as well as the southern interior of the Eastern Cape.
In the light of this warning as produced by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) and other centres, the following advisory guidelines are suggested:
The major effects of heat/ high levels of discomfort are to increase the rate of evaporation of water, and thus to increase the effects of aridity, also cause high respiratory rates, open mouth breathing of animals.
What to do when heatwave conditions forecasted:
- Offer shade for livestock
- Offer water – keep good quality water in front of animals
- Wet with sprinklers/fire hose etc.
- Water ground
- Avoid overworking animals
- Cover or mulch to conserve soil moisture
- Irrigate early morning or during afternoon
- Increase water intake by: roughening surface, minimise evaporation (covering surface – organic material)
Signs of heat stress:
- Bunching in shade, high respiratory rates, open mouth breathing
- Health problems, confinement, weight, dark hide
- Consider heat resistant breeds
- limit stressful handling of stock to cooler hours of day or night
- Former, plus shade over feed bunks and sprinklers with fans at feed bunks
- Choose suitable cultivars as a precautionary measure