We all know summer days in Nebraska can be wonderful or pitiful. Summers here usually mean lots of hot and humid days which is the perfect weather for going to the pool, one of my favorite summer activities. However, hot and humid days also meant that I had to get up early before the sun was out in full force to work with my lambs for the fair. I wasn’t always a happy camper getting up before 7 a.m. to go halter and walk my lambs. I learned at an early age the cooler it was out the better the lambs and my temperament were, so I accepted the fact I had to get up to work with them.
Besides getting up earlier to work with livestock, summer keeps farmers and ranchers busy making sure their animals are as comfortable as can be. On our farm that meant making sure everything had plenty of water and I spent lots of time outside hauling buckets of water to the chickens and turning on and off the hydrant to fill up the water tubs for the sheep, which made me extremely thankful that our pigs and cattle had automatic waters.
On days when many people were either enjoying the air conditioning or by the water, we spent the majority of the day outside. We were turning on the misters in the hog barn to help keep the pigs cool and setting up sprinklers….not for us to enjoy but for the cattle in the feedlot to cool off under.
I often miss spending my entire summer outside, but I have been reminded lately how much I like air conditioning especially when it is over 100 degrees out. On those days, I am also reminded that farmers and ranchers don’t get to enjoy the air conditioning but are outside ensuring their livestock are as comfortable as possible. So the next time you start to wonder if producers care about their animals remember they are outside in the heat (when most of us don’t want to leave the air conditioning) just to ensure their animals are comfortable.