Summer Shears And Then Some
Tift Sheep Farmers' Secrets in Keeping Livestock Cool
TIFTON, GA – To down on the farm… in Tifton… A family-owned farm is taking all the necessary steps to protect their sheep from the summer heat.
South Georgia Television’s Meteorologist Matthew Crumley caught up with them to see what they’re doing to keep their livestock cool…
Jared and Ivey cook, owners of Triple-C Club Lambs said that while it has not been as hot as other parts of the country, any increase in temperature can lead to a decrease in the health of their sheep.
“Well, we’ve been raising sheep for twenty years now, our family has, and it’s a family experience. So, Triple-C came about with my brother, our cousin, and myself,” said Ivey.
Jared and Ivey said having the proper equipment is vital for their flock’s survival…
“We do probably just about the same as any other farmer would do. We have fans that run constantly to keep them cool. We emphasize shade structures as well, but we’ve also been using these new feed technologies which are feed supplements that help increase the water intake within these animals, which overall is going to help them be more hydrated. Which staying hydrated is going to keep them cooler,” said Jared.
Checking the water frequently is essential to keeping the flock hydrated.
“We check water about three times a day, making sure those waterers are filled to the top and that our lambs are drinking and if not, we need to go back and reassess what we’re doing to make sure they’re intaking enough water,” said Ivey.
And, more recently, electricity… to keep the air flowing throughout their barns.
“Because it’s so hot here in South Georgia, we have to run fans every day. We don’t turn them off until about nine o’clock at night when they eat, because it’s just so hot here. But, just making sure that those lambs are cool is our main focus,” said Ivey.
The Cooks said keeping the livestock cool is paramount to production.
“And, this is the big part with us and any other farmer is you got to get lambs on the ground, you got to get calves on the ground, and through that we have to make sure that these animals are staying hydrated and cool, or we’re not going to be able to get them bred to have the next set of lamb crop or next calf crop. So, using these feed technologies has been very vital in our production,” said Jared.
Triple-C Club Lambs use other cooling techniques such as sheering to protect the stock from overheating.
“Cause wool keeps the sheep very hot. we have a professional sheep sheerer that comes through during the mid-summer, and he sheers all the wool off which keeps them cooler, which increases our production.”
“We don’t look like the typical farmer that you see with row crops, we have sheep. And, it’s not as big like it is out in the west area. But, that’s one thing that we’re trying to promote as siblings is to promote youth for the industry, and help students enjoy the sheep industry just as much as we do,” said Ivey.
The Cooks add that raising and showing livestock is more than a friendly competition between fellow farmers.
They said it brings families, just like theirs, closer together unlike any other hobby.