Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fair animals have a tough time keeping cool

A rabbit huddles close to a frozen water bottle at the Douglas County Fair on Tuesday, trying to keep cool in temperatures that topped 100 degrees.

A rabbit huddles close to a frozen water bottle at the Douglas County Fair on Tuesday, trying to keep cool in temperatures that topped 100 degrees.

August 4, 2010


Fair animals having a hard time keeping cool

Livestock at the Douglas County Fair are continuously hosed down to keep cool in the high temperatures. Enlarge video

Taylor Stanley,16, of the Vinland Valley 4-H club, sprays her hog with some cool water as temperatures hit 101 at the Douglas County Fair.

Taylor Stanley,16, of the Vinland Valley 4-H club, sprays her hog with some cool water as temperatures hit 101 at the Douglas County Fair.

This year’s Douglas County Fair has already seen the hottest day of the summer, with temperatures soaring to over 100 degrees on Monday. With weather like that, fair-goers will need to stay hydrated, find a nice shady spot, and ... maybe get a hose-down? And it’s not just the two-legged visitors who need to stay cool.

The animals are feeling the heat as well.

Chris Berg, Lawrence, has been with the Lonestar 4-H club for 11 years, and has bovine, swine and sheep to maintain. For him, it’s been a challenge keeping up with all three.

“Running between the barns, trying to keep them all cool, especially the pigs, since they’re not able to sweat they need to be hosed down more,” Berg said.

Pigs have been struggling with the heat the most. Tyler Kappelle, Baldwin City, lost one of his pigs before even arriving at the fair. Another 4-Her had one go down Monday in front of the swine barn, and others have had close calls.

“You can tell when they’re hot if you feel their ears,” said Taylor Stanley, Baldwin City, who is a member of the Vinland Valley 4-H.

“If they’re really smokin’ hot, you need to get them cooled down really fast so they don’t die.”

Stanley said it recently took five people to revive a pig by rubbing it down with cool rags and spraying down hot spots behind its ears and under its leg. Finally, a shot from the vet got it back on its feet.

Combining a new environment with the heat can also cause challenges. Troy Stanley, Baldwin City, said pigs normally have a mud hole to lay in and keep cool. They are without that luxury at the fair, where they rely on fans blowing down on their mulch-filled pens and frequent trips to the wash rack. Berg said his steer wouldn’t drink on the first day there because of the stress that comes with moving to a new place.

“My steer isn’t really used to all of this commotion. He actually drank two buckets this morning,” Berg said.

Ethan Horne, Baldwin City, didn’t seem too concerned with this year’s heat. It’s always warm during the fair, right?

“Maybe a little more rinsing off to keep them cool and keeping them watered a little bit more. Otherwise, it’s about the same every year.”


Danimal 5 years ago

Looks like they aren't having any trouble staying adorable.

Liberty275 5 years ago

This is why the fair never gets a dollar of our money. Move it to October and we'll go there with our money.

brs14ku 5 years ago

The fair and 4H as a whole are inhumane displays of filth.

esj2003 5 years ago

We'll see how adorable they are when they die of dehydration and over-heating.

HW 5 years ago

Yep, because they would probably be in a nice air conditioned pen at home, right? They aren't going to die of dehydration and/or over-heating any quicker at the fair than they would back at the farm, or wherever they came from.

brs14ku 5 years ago

please...that bunny in the first picture is NOT kept outdoors. Murderers!

HW 5 years ago

And where do you think the rabbit is kept? Most fair animals are kept just like any other type of livestock. Whether you agree or disagree with how they are kept at home is another topic.

esj2003 5 years ago

Who cares what they're in at home? Those pens surely aren't AC'd today. Today is when they'll raisin up. Not a week from now in their Lazy Boy watching Bugs Bunny.

HW 5 years ago

That is my point. They are going to raisin up no matter where they are, just like any other animal outside. The fair has nothing to do with the heat.

esj2003 5 years ago

I just think it's rude to give Peter Cotton a repurposed Coke Zero bottle of refreshing, chilled water on a hot day when he lacks the ability to open it. It's like in certain cultures where people ride tortoises to work by sitting on its shell and dangling a carrot in front of it's face in the direction they want to go. Have some respect.

esj2003 5 years ago

That pictured rabbit is a goner. "Yeah, buddy. It's record heat, but here's a bottle of water to help. Hopefully you evolve thumbs in the next couple hours, because it's a twist cap! BWAH HAHAHA!"

brs14ku 5 years ago

but seriuosly...don't bring your science and evolution crap into this story. This is a real problem. God put these animals here to be treated well, not to be dehydrated and cooked alive.

esj2003 5 years ago

Unless they are being raised to be cooked alive. Lobster. That's how He decided lobster was to die. Boiled alive. Don't doubt Him.

calwt262 5 years ago

Now I'm hungry for some hassenpfeffer stew.

esj2003 5 years ago

Are you sure they aren't trying to smother the bottle to release and enjoy it's bounty?

And replacing the warmer water with cooler water right in front of their eyes! If's that not torture I don't know what is. They're going to resent you for flaunting your ability to remove a cap from a bottle.

brs14ku 5 years ago

If GOD really loved these animals he would have given them opposable thumbs.....and Central AC.

Tara Painter 5 years ago

They need to change the fair dates along time ago. Why pick the hot's month of the year!

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