Cold Weather Care for Your Ranch Animals
A majority of the United States has experienced below average temperatures and more precipitation than normal.
While we do everything we can do keep our families and pets safe and warm, many farmers and ranchers across the nation have some extra responsibly to tend to with their livestock and other animals. Not properly taking care of ranch animals can be costly.
Here are some precautions to take during cold temperatures and other harsh winter conditions to help keep your animals safe and healthy.
- Provide shelter. Depending on the animal, if you’re dealing with subzero temperatures, it’s always a good idea to have adequate shelter available to block wind and other extremes. Horses also may need a blanket to keep warm, however, make sure you’re removing the blanket every couple of days and checking their coat and skin.
- Meet their basic necessities. Obviously, all animals need food and water to survive, but this need is extra important in harsh weather conditions. Make sure all livestock have quality hay, grains, frost-free water and other necessities are readily available at all times.
- Clear paths. Some extreme weather conditions cause extra problems like added debris, downed fencing and iced-over pathways. If not addressed, animals can break bones and have other injuries that can be devastating in the long run.
- Watch for disease. Animals can get sick just like we can. Pay attention for any abnormal behaviors or symptoms. If you notice anything, separate that animal from the rest right away to keep the disease from spreading to other animals.
The good news is we should be heading into spring soon. Until then, keep yourself and your animals safe this winter.
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