Battling Winter Weather With Out Livestock, Poultry & Pets

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Cows in a field as snow falls around them.

Although we haven’t had any snow yet…. Our temperatures have been steady dropping, and reaching the single digits and lower. Our livestock, poultry and pets may need some extra care during these cold temperatures. So how can we help them?

For all of our animals it is important to make sure that they all have plenty of fresh & unfrozen water as much as possible. We also need to make sure that we have areas that our animals are allowed to access that are out of the wind and winter weather.

For livestock (Cows, Horses, Sheep & Goats)– Be sure they have access to plenty of forages. Forages for some include new stock piled grass but, for many it is hay or silage. However you are supplementing your livestock, be sure they have access to more than the normal amount of forages. The more your livestock eat, the more energy they will produce which will help them keep their body temperatures up.

For Poultry– Keep their feeders as well as waterers full and fresh. Allow poultry to be able to get out of winter elements and protect them from the winds. Provide dry bedding for poultry, this may be wheat straw or pine bedding

For Pets kept outside– Provide fresh bedding, usually wheat straw or pine bedding, in dog houses or pens. Face dog houses away from the wind.

** If using heated waterers make sure electrical plugs are secure, and away from pet access.
** If using tank heaters (floating or sinking) be sure to follow instructions on proper use to prevent any damage to tanks or livestock
** If using supplemental heat for poultry or pets (heat lamps) make sure there is a 3ft space between your heat lamp and any flammable materials. Make sure that heat lamps are secured so that they cannot fall or be knocked over and ignite any materials below or around them.

If you use blankets for any of your animals, be sure that they are properly secured to the animal and that they are not left on for long periods of time if they get wet.

If you have any questions or need assistance in helping your livestock, poultry or pets through the winter weather, contact Bailee Perkins at Extension Office by phone or email at 336-694-4158 ext. 5 or