Winter Animal Care: Keep Your Animals Warm This Season

Keeping Your Animals Hydrated

It may seem like eating snow or ice can help hydrate your animals. However, Ice and snow consumption lowers body temperature and increases maintenance energy needs. One of the biggest challenges during the winter is keeping ice from freezing over. Livestock need a lot of water in the winter. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening. For example, we carry deicers from Little Giant that float in the tank or sit at the bottom. If you don’t have access to electricity, larger tanks have more thermal mass so the water will retain more of its own heat.

Keeping Your Animals Fed

Feeding your livestock may change during the winter season. For example, feeding later in the day during severe cold can increase heat production during the night. Another factor in feeding your livestock is labor availability. If you do daily hand feedings, you will have a better sense of your animals’s health and appetite. Make sure to protect you feed from rodents, they can easily destroy and invade feed supplies that are not kept safe. 

Keeping Your Animals Sheltered

Most livestock can handle low temperatures, wind, however, can be difficult for them. Provide wind breaks during lower temperatures such as thick edges of trees or physical barriers like barns or gates with blankets. When it rains or snows, make sure to provide a dry place for your animals to go. Proper ventilation prevents animals from having severe skin, eye and respiratory issues. When it comes to ventilation, just make sure that air can move and the animals still have a way to stay out of said movement if need be.

There are additional elements that can help your livestock through this season such as fencing and exercise. This reminder of livestock’s basic needs is the starting point to keeping them warm and healthy.