Keeping Your Fair Animals Healthy

Fair season is quickly approaching and that means show season! You understand the hard work that goes into preparing your fair animals. With show season brings potential health concerns for your livestock. It’s important to take precautions to ensure the health and safety of your animals. Here’s 7 tips to consider when taking your fair animals to and from the grounds.

1. Sanitize

Make sure to remove any dirt, bedding, manure, excess food, or dirty water from wash racks, tacks, trailers, and stalls. It is best to clean your wash racks at night to allow them to properly dry for the next day. Keep your shoes clean so you don’t track in dirt or manure from common areas.

2. Limit contact

Do not come in contact with other animals in their pens or stalls from other farms. If you happen to, make sure to wash your hands and disinfect clothing and shoes before visiting your own animals.

Do not let your animals come in contact with other animals either. Limiting contact with animals from other farms will limit the risk of contamination and prevent illness.

3. Keep fresh feed and water available

It’s crucial for your animals’ health to keep fresh feed and water and and isolate it away from other animals. Fairs are usually during the summer months and can be hot causing dehydration to both you and your animals. Using a clean bucket to provide fresh water will keep your animal hydrated and in top form! Do not make changes to the feed or water type during the duration of the show.

4. Don’t share equipment

Do not share equipment or tools with others. When filling your animals’ water from the community hose, make sure to not allow your animal to drink directly from the hose or to submerge the hose in your bucket. If others come in contact with your equipment, immediately disinfect before using it for your animals.

5. Monitor behavior

Watch for signs of illness including fever, lethargy, cough, heavy breathing, coughing, or lack of appetite. For normal temperatures for your animals, follow this veterinary manual. If your animal starts exhibiting signs of illness, immediately contact a veterinarian.

6. Disinfect

Once your equipment is cleaned, you must be sure to properly disinfect it before coming in contact with your animals. Designate a clean area to prevent exposure from other dirty items. Each type of disinfectant has an amount of time it takes to be effective. Make sure to follow the directions on the label and review appropriate contact time.

7. Isolate after show

When all of the fun and excitement is over and it is time to take your animals home, it’s time for isolation. Quarantine your fair animals from other animals on your farm and monitor their health and behavior. The typical time for isolation generally ranges from 14-28 days, but it is best to consult your veterinarian.

With all the hard work and preparation, the result is rewarding when you complete a successful show and leave with your fair animals healthy!

Showing your livestock at a fair this year? Share your photos of your fair animals by tagging us on Twitter @MillerMfg

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