Fair Pigs Need Help in Heat

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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Animals and humans had to adjust to the heat at the Jackson County fair.  With hotter days in the forecast, fair officials said they are ready for the heat wave.

This year the fair has more misters, lawn areas, picnic tables, and shade cloths than any other year, according to Jackson County Fair Director, Dave Koellermeier.

He said even with climbing temperatures, he does not expect to cancel or reschedule any of the fair events or 4-H competitions.

Fans and misters were not just set up for guests to enjoy, they were also set up in animal pens, around the show arena, and the barns.  For most animals, that is enough to keep them cool.  For pigs however, it is a different story.

“Heat and pigs don’t get along,” said 4-H member Kayla Torrey.

Torrey has been showing pigs for two years, along with steers, sheep and horses.

She said by far, the pigs handle the heat the worst because they do not have sweat glands.

Typically pigs roll in the mud to stay cool.  The mud coats their skin and keeps the heat from getting in, but  out at the fairgrounds there is no mud, just water.

“We water them down all the time. We have a water canteen here at our spot and just keeping them coo is the best possible thing to do,” said Torrey.

The heat also has an impact on the pig’s showmanship.  With it being so hot, fair officials urged 4-H members not to oil their pig until the last few minutes before the competition to keep them cool.

According to Koellermeier, no 4-H animals have died or suffered from heat related illnesses.