Winter is coming. Here are some helpful reminders to keep your livestock safe and warm:
- Make sure animals still have access to plentiful amounts of water. Water stored in tanks may need to be heated. Check pipes to make sure there are no leaks and that they are insulated properly. If you are able, put heat tape on the end of spigots to help prevent freezing. Choose plastic containers over metal in winter for individual animals’ nose and tongue comfort.
- Animals need more food in winter. Since their bodies are working harder to stay warm in the colder temperatures, they naturally require more calories to keep burning. Make sure there is an abundant supply of food stored away before winter starts so that animals can be fed quickly and more often.
- Provide adequate shelter for animals. Reduce drafts in the barn as much as possible, and offer plenty of warm, dry bedding to help animals retain heat when needed. Livestock that still spend time outside should have the protection of wind breaks so they can be blocked from the chilly winds. Animals can get frostbite too, so try to keep them out of extreme temperatures for extended periods of time if possible. Ear tips, teats, feet, and tails can all get frostbit in a short matter of time, similar to people.
Looby, George. “Winter Care for Farm Animals, Large and Small.” Country Folks
The Time to Prep for Winter is Now Beginning Farmers