When the “feels like” temperature reaches above 90 or 100, like it has this week, we urge our employees to drink plenty of water and we supply them with free popsicles to keep them cool. We also make sure that our animals get the same treatment. Animal popsicles and fans to the rescue! They all get the royal treatment! Animals can become stressed in extreme heat and they don’t all have sweat glands like we do. Freezing their favorite snacks in water not only keeps them entertained, it also keeps them hydrated. The chickens and rabbits love herbs and fruit combinations and the angora goats thoroughly enjoy cabbage and peach popsicles.
Our sheep really appreciate their industrial-size fan that gives them a breeze on a sweltering day. And there’s nothing better than a cool foot bath as far as Equinox, our alpaca, is considered!
Check out our chickens discovering their first popsicle! The first chicken just jumps right on it while the others are a little more tentative but in the end, they loved their frozen snack: Chickens and Popsicles
Stay cool out there, it’s going to be another hot week!
When you work outside, there’s no escaping summer heat… but we all have our favorite coping strategies. (“Rearranging the cooler” becomes the most coveted task of all!) For our resident animals, surviving the summer heat can be a real challenge, and part of our job is to make them as comfortable as possible. It turns out that animals use many of the same strategies humans do to stay cool!
Here are the top five ways critters beat the heat:
- CHILL OUT! Perhaps most obvious is that many of our animals shift from spring frolicking to summer lounging. Sure, they still run and play some, but they spend a LOT of time lying around. And, like your pooch, they pant to cool off.
- SHADE! We provide lots of options for shade. Generally, the preferred spots are those that, like the tarps, the wagon and the “bus,” allow the cross breeze while blocking the rays.
- WATER! Our critters drink a LOT of water to stay cool. Sometimes, you’ll even see the alpacas dipping their front legs in to cool off.
- ICE! We don’t let our animals into the walk-in coolers, but we bring the cool to them! Every afternoon, you’ll find our rabbit snuggled up with a frozen water bottle. Lucas Cox has been known to ice the animals’ water bowls, although rumors about him blending up smoothies for the alpacas have not been confirmed.
- HAIRCUTS! Some of our especially furry friends get special hairdos to keep them cool. Chewie, our resident llama, gets a particularly striking new look. The alpacas, sheep and angora goats all are sheared, and their fiber is spun into yarn.
We hope all critters, great and small, find a way to stay cool in this week’s heatwave! Don’t forget to provide your own pets with water and shade!