A look at heat-tolerant livestock breeds
North America spans an incredibly diverse range of climates, with farms and ranches spreading literally coast to coast and border to border. And when discussing livestock breeds for those properties, people tend to talk a lot about cold-hardy breeds—but what about animals that can thrive in warmer climates?
Since we’re in the thick of summer’s heat right now, let’s highlight some heat-tolerant livestock breeds for warm-climate acreages, and while we’re at it, we’ll also look at some dog breeds that don’t mind warm temperatures.
Sheep breeds exhibit a variety of wool types, including fine, medium, and long. Many fine wool breeds descend at least in part from the Spanish-bred Merino sheep, and can be quite suitable for warm locations.
Hair sheep (often native to Africa or the West Indies) are also heat-tolerant breeds. Here are some breeds to consider:
Like sheep, goats with fine fiber should be more comfortable in warm temperatures, and small goat breeds also tend to thrive in the heat a bit better than large goats. If you’re looking for heat-tolerant goat breeds, here are a few to research further:
As you might suspect, chicken breeds that originated in warm-weather areas tend to be happy in the heat. But in any case, some heat-hardy chickens include:
Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without a few heat-tolerant beef and dairy cattle breeds:
As a rule, rabbits don’t do enjoy hot weather—in fact, the opposite is true. However, if you’re looking for breeds that might be more well-suited to warmer climates, you could consider:
Generally, dog breeds that are happiest in the heat have ears that stand up, shorter coats, and longer noses. Luckily, there is no shortage of such breeds! Here are some dogs that usually don’t mind warm weather and can also be useful around the farm:
But if you do decide to doze on the hot days, at least you can ponder the possibilities of new heat-tolerant breeds to add to your farm! Happy daydreaming!
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