As the chill of winter creeps nearer, it’s important to know the steps you need to take to prepare your animals for the smoothest season possible. Here are 7 steps for preparing your barn for winter.
1. Protect Medications
Examine any medications your animals take. Check if they are temperature-sensitive and take precautions to keep them at the appropriate temperatures. Consult with your veterinarian if you are uncertain whether the medications are temperature sensitive or not.
2. Test Water Heaters
Make sure any of your water heaters are functioning properly. One way to ensure water of the appropriate temperature is available for your animals is to install a Bar-Bar-A automatic watering unit. The way the unit is designed ensures that the water will be warm enough to encourage your animals to drink even in cold temperatures. The paddle that provides the animals with access to the water is made of aluminum and won’t freeze in the same way that steel alternatives might.
3. Stock Up on Snow Supplies
Ensure access to any supplies you might need in the snow. Make sure you have salt available in order to minimize hazardous icy walkways. Check any electrical equipment to ensure working order, especially snow blowers. Insulate any hand tools, so that they will be usable when you need them.
4. Stockpile Hay and Feed
Winter can be difficult enough without running low on supplies. Horses and other livestock often need more food in the winter, as keeping warm forces their metabolisms to work harder.
5. Inspect Your Blankets
Check that any blankets you use to keep your animals warm are the appropriate thickness. You don’t want your animals to get too cold in the winter, but you also need to ensure that they aren’t overheating. When using a new blanket, check underneath periodically to prevent overheating.
6. Clean Out Gutters and Drainage Ditches
Prevent future problems by inspecting the gutters and drainage ditches before bad weather hits. Flooding can cause immense damage to your property, so confirm that all gutters and drainage ditches are in good repair.
7. Necessary Repairs
Inspect roofs before the first snow falls. Walk the fence line, paying special attention to any damage on your property. Make repairs to prevent any further damage from occurring. Make sure all lights are in working order. Limited visibility can be hazardous in icy weather conditions.
Keep your animals safe and comfortable this winter by following these steps!