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How livestock are staying cool at the Colorado State Fair

How livestock are staying cool at the Colorado State Fair
Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 31, 2021

PUEBLO — Hot summer days like Tuesday can be tough and uncomfortable for many people, but it's also hot for all the livestock at the Colorado State Fair.

While temperatures hovered around 100 degrees for part of the day, youth and their families were making sure their animals were keeping cool and staying comfortable.

During the day, hundreds of animals are kept in the sheep and swine barn which feels about 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Plus, there are large fans facing the animals so they don't overheat.

"To get the animals here and get them shown right, they have to take just as good care of them as they can," said Chad Born, whose daughters are showing goats at the fair.

Born says he knows the signs to look out for if the animals are distressed or dehydrated.

"They'll pant a little bit, they'll be restless, it's just miserable and after you have them so long you can tell if they're happy or not happy," said Born.

Part of the responsibility when participating at the fair is making sure the animals are kept cool in the shade, but also rinsing animals off to stay cool, and having them move around when possible.

"Because if they get overheated, they start losing weight, and they can get sick from being overheated," said Gabby Hermes, 14 years old. "Either in the morning or the night, we rinse them and then take them for a walk when it's cool, and then we keep them in a cool barn."

For Lyndsey Mekelburg, 16 years old, she's also making sure her goats have food and cold water throughout the day.

"We'll make sure in the morning we re-fill it. We'll check it like two or three times a day, that they have enough water and it's clean," said Lyndsey.

Fans and sprinklers are also used, and Lyndsey says it's all for making sure the animals stay comfortable before and after their shows.

"When they come to a new environment, it's just kind of different for them, they might be a little bit nervous, so we really have have to watch, just make sure they're taken care of, and we check them quite a bit throughout the day," said Lyndsey.

The fair holds many of the livestock shows in the morning, keeping hot temperatures in mind.