Farmer: Outdoor animals' deaths preventable despite heat

Posted July 22, 2011
Updated July 23, 2011

— With temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s, it's no secret people need to take extra care of their animals that stay outside, including livestock.

Although local farmers haven’t reported any significant losses from the heat, the same can't be said for individual homeowners.

Dennis Coon and his 8-year-old daughter, Natalie, say their turkeys are like family members, which made it even more difficult when they lost one to the heat recently.

“They’re all like pets. We raise the turkeys from eggs,” Coon said.

Natalie has named them all, including three siblings she calls Tumble, Mumble and Bumble.

Recently, the Coons came home and found one of their turkeys dead in the woods.

“We let them out and try to stay in this (shaded) area, (but) we came home and it was too late,” Coon said.

Turkey Farmer: Outdoor animals' deaths preventable in heat

It's a problem poultry farmer Roy Sumner said he's seeing more often with people who keep the birds as pets. He says he's gotten several calls in the past week from people who have lost their pets in the heat.

Sumner sells hundreds of birds to his customers and said he is constantly making sure that the water his birds drink is cool, which can be a challenge on hot days.

“Make sure you run the water, and you test it,” he said. “You touch it yourself because the water can be as much as 110 degrees when it’s coming out of a water hose that’s been laying in the sun.”

Sumner also recommends providing shade for animals and avoiding any people food for the birds, especially in the summer months.


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  • woodhaven1947 Jul 22, 2011

    pets are family to like your kids i know some people i would just as soon leave out side in the heat cause they have no love for pets are people all for themselfs i would turn in anyone around me not taking care of there pets be summer or winter all mine live inside home with me my home just nice and clean as anyones my pets have food and see the vet with needed to and i live on fixed income to PS IF YOU CANOT LOVE YOUR PET LIKE FAMILY AND CARE FOR IT YOU DONOT NEED A PET OF ANY KIND

  • jscletsplay1002002 Jul 22, 2011

    Im more for people helping people first, specially here in the USA, what about the poor, homeless, and elderly. Help them first, then the animals.
    People are dying in this heat!!!!

  • orangemoonlite Jul 22, 2011

    People! Just use your common sense when decidiing whether or not to leave your HOUSE pets outside in this dreaded heat! DON'T LEAVE THEM OUT! If your pets live outside normally, you'll just want to check on them & provide them with shade & lots of water! WOW! Sometimes, you must let the animal take the lead...since they are animals & their instincts are a lot better than ours!

  • rescuefan Jul 22, 2011

    "Maybe you need to join a group or agency that works at providing A/C units to the disabled and elderly who don't have one
    RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman"

    I'm not sure why you feel like you should tell someone what they should get involved with. First of all, you don't know if Right On is already involved in doing something for the disadvantaged. Maybe they put their time and hearts into another cause. It's not any of your business either way.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jul 22, 2011

    Right On - "I think it's terrible for people to leave their dogs outside in a pen with or without shade."

    Our dog is not happy in the house. He loves being outdoors regardless of the weather. So we provide him with a 20x20 foot kennel with a huge house, a large tub of water to lie in and a big bucket of water to drink from. He's a happy camper out there. Like I said, he has never liked being in the house, and goes to the door and whines and whines to go out if we do bring him in.

    We won't let him run the neighborhood even though we could because neighbors do with their dogs unhindered. But we don't want Buddy getting in fights with other dogs or getting hit by cars because he's a big old sweetheart. We're responsible pet owners who keep our animals contained.

    There are many people who don't have A/C right now, yet you seem to think animals should have them. LOL

    Maybe you need to join a group or agency that works at providing A/C units to the disabled and elderly who don't have one

  • Dragons_lady Jul 22, 2011

    all my furbabies are as snug as a rug in inside the air conditioned apartment...

  • Warm Soft Dose of Snah Jul 22, 2011

    I think it's terrible for people to leave their dogs outside in a pen with or without shade. Have you ever sat in the shade when it's a hundred degrees outside? Even without wind it's haooter than most smallanimals can stand. Please people, take care of your animals and bring them into the AC.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jul 22, 2011

    Our animals are all in the shade and have plenty of food and water, but it's so bad outside now, I'm worried about even them and am thinking of running the sprinkler for them.

  • carrboroyouth Jul 22, 2011

    That's nothing like the people that leave their dogs in the car with the windows up. Terrible!