As we coexist with creatures of all kinds, it has become inevitable that we learn to subsist in the best way we can. As a result, numerous studies focus on the relationship between different elements that make up our society and environment. One crucial correlation is between relative humidity and the lives of animals.

First and foremost, we know how our weather and its aspects greatly affect our lives and surroundings. In fact, it even dictates how most should operate on a daily basis. On a grander scale, the ever-changing seasons also contribute to the growth of organisms, from plants to fellow creatures.

Animals rely heavily on temperatures as they govern much of how they function in nature. However, they also play a part in how climates change. By consuming, fertilizing, and even spreading soil and plants, they allow for a cycle to occur. Additionally, an excess or shortage of certain species can alter a location’s meteorology. Finally, we also can’t forget how they inevitably provide for and impact the human race.

In other words, considering the relationship between humidity and the lives of animals, it is fair to say that they equally influence each other. However, in this article, we will take a deeper look into how relative humidity impacts our cohabitants.

Relative Humidity

Why is humidity a carefully considered factor when it comes to weather and livelihood? First, it is a crucial prerequisite for life. In its relative aspect, the ratio of its current absolute to its maximum number at a given temperature determines the number of conditions. This is heavily studied because it is indicative of air quality, which is a key environmental component that directly affects agriculture and livestock.

Aside from the external effects of relative humidity, it also impacts the internal health of both humans and animals. For instance, Tyrovolas et al. (2014) found that diabetes is more prevalent in seniors residing in areas with high relative humidity. In addition, the same conditions are shown to increase the risk of heat strokes, according to Sunwoo et al. (2016).

For animals, extreme humidity levels have a similar effect on their health and development. For example, Noiva et al. (2014) conducted a study that illustrates how overhydration and abnormal moisture levels decrease the lifespan of chicken embryos and make dogs and lambs susceptible to pulmonary inflammation.

Dogs in a misty forest. Abnormal humidity levels make dogs susceptible to pulmonary inflammation.
Abnormal humidity levels make dogs susceptible to pulmonary inflammation.

Infectious Diseases

It is a well-known fact that bacteria and harmful organisms thrive in high levels of moisture. Consequently, an increase in relative humidity is unideal for larger lifeforms. First, it creates an environment that makes the spread of pathogens efficient, infiltrating the health of organisms within their reach.

For animals that don’t feed off of bacteria or benefit from it, different levels of relative humidity have adverse impacts on their health. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only an abundance of moisture that contributes to bacterial growth; for some, the lack thereof encourages their multiplication as well. Fungi are another biological example of what humidity affects. The two lifeforms are detrimental since they can be consumed by animals by infiltrating their food source. Whether it be their feed or natural resources, the presence of bacteria or fungi can harbor and transfer infectious diseases.

Impaired Growth

Relative humidity covers a wide surface area. Therefore, it is not far off to say that the environment animals grow in directly affects their growth and wellness. For example, mammals survive better in humidity rates ranging from 30-70%, as the NRC (2011) recorded. However, these numbers vary with species. Additionally, in the same respect that moisture harbors dangerous substances, a moist surrounding can make a creature’s surrounding unsanitary beyond regular conditions, therefore inhabitable.

An instance of this is poor air quality caused by the damp ammonia levels from their waste products. These circumstances can inhibit healthy development for multiple species, especially those that are in their earlier stages of life since the fine particles can infiltrate several barriers. Moreover, the parents become incapable of raising their offspring due to the worsening of their state brought about by such situations.

Inconsumable Products

Many of our animal companions do us a great service by providing us with consumable goods. They are why we have variety in our food choices and can satisfy our basic need of hunger. Considering their noble sacrifice, it is only fair for their living conditions to be humane, safe, and optimal. With that, it is essential to note that external factors such as relative humidity contributes directly to that.

It is crucial to take into account animal welfare when keeping them. This aspect significantly influences their capability to produce quality consumables. For example, relative humidity impacts mortality and creates environmentally sound conditions optimal for production. It also affects how most creatures feed, which will impede their grade.

Relative Humidity And Animal Welfare

In conclusion, relative humidity is an indispensable factor that can bring about irreversible damage to the wellness of animals. In addition, their welfare should also be a priority, especially in industries that work directly with them.

With animal welfare being the state in which species are in harmony with their environment, it is necessary to note that it dictates both their physical and psychological wellness, which impacts their overall condition. Ideally, they would be in livable conditions for their well-being and for us as well, who also benefit from their health. Thus, the way animals are raised should be maximized and improved for the greater good.

Fortunately, historical humidity data and other relevant studies are effective guides to protect and conserve animal welfare as they are kept in captivity for production. In addition, it is a field that is under continuous research and development. Experts are constantly looking for ways to improve all operations surrounding the care and upbringing of animals, and rightfully so.

As consumers, it is evident that we only benefit from some species. However, the safety and preservation of creatures outside our consumption and inside our care are crucial and non-negotiable. Aside from the quality of products, the wellness of the lifeforms we take responsibility for should also be a priority, and information from relative humidity should be utilized to achieve this.

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