Having a barn or farm can be very rewarding. It can also be a very peaceful place in winter. However, the cold weather brings its own set of concerns, as well as a lot of extra work. A Wichita, KS offers a few helpful hacks below.
Make A Windbreak
In many cases, it isn’t the actual temperatures that make animals miserable when it’s cold: it’s the wind. It’s a good idea to make a few windbreaks. Hedges or trees planted close together is an attractive and helpful long-term solution. For a quick fix, you can use plywood or even hay bales.
Prepare For The Cold
When you know there’s a cold snap coming, give your animals slightly bigger rations for a few days in advance. A little extra fat will help them deal with the cold.
You can make a homemade de-icer by mixing one part water to three parts distilled vinegar. This is definitely handy to have around!
Even the most surefooted animals can take a spill in icy conditions. Kitty litter, sawdust, or pet-safe de-icing products will help provide traction on slippery areas. Even manure will work in a pinch!
It gets dark early in winter, which makes things even more challenging. Get a helmet with a light on it, or even just a headband flashlight. That way, you can keep your hands free if you need to work on something.
Keep a crockpot on hand. This is a good way to warm up bits and mash. Just remember to unplug it before you leave!
Minimize Hay Waste
Animals can be quite sloppy eaters, and they often drop feed and hay. When it’s muddy or slushy, this results in a lot of lost food. Use troughs or hay nets to reduce the amount that gets dropped and trampled.
Keep Pipes From Freezing
Frozen pipes are one of the biggest headaches farm owners face in winter. If you have a tank, consider insulating it. Otherwise, you can put bedding or even manure down on the ground above where your pipes are running.
You can use a spaghetti spoon or kitty litter scoop to quickly remove ice from the top of a bucket. You can also get insulated buckets.
Do you have questions or concerns about your livestock? Reach out to us, your local Wichita, KS animal hospital, today!