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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter

Best tips for keeping your livestock safe this winter. Winter is coming in many parts of the country, which can pose dangers to many farms and ranches that house livestock. If you’ve got cattle, swine, poultry, or other livestock to care for this winter, explore our tips on how to keep them safe from the bitter cold.

Keep Them Sheltered as Much as Possible

When the bitter cold of winter hits, the best practice for protecting livestock is to keep them indoors as much as possible. If your shelter isn’t big enough to house all the livestock, consider a rotation system that gets all the animals out of the cold for some period—especially the younger and vulnerable animals.

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Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter – How to keep animals warm in winter?

You should also consider getting a windbreak for the livestock to give them some extra protection when they’re outside, if you don’t already have one. Windbreaks can be a row of mature trees or large bushes you’ve planted, or a privacy fence you’ve installed. If you decide to install a fence, plastic livestock fencing is a better choice than wood.

Add Extra Feed

Everyone gets hungrier in the winter, especially livestock. Animals need more calories as their bodies work harder to regulate their body temperature.

In fact, it’s common for some livestock, such as cattle and swine, to eat twice as much as in winter compared to other seasons. Make sure you’ve got plenty of feed to help your livestock get through the cold months.

Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter 2

Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter

Pro Tip: Consider adding nutritional supplements such as Semalex or Fixar to animal feed to give the livestock a nutritional boost.

Watch for Signs of Frostbite

Frostbite is a common ailment in winter and, besides being very painful for the animals, can also lead to loss of skin and even ears. Watch for the early signs of frostbite on their ears, tails, feet, and muzzle—especially on those of younger livestock such as calves and foals.

Affected tissue on livestock can appear swollen or freezing to the touch, so it’s wise to inspect the animals frequently. If you spot the early signs of frostbite, bring them inside and add some protective layers to warm them up slowly.

Get Them Moving – Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter

All animals need exercise, even when the temperature is freezing outside. Livestock that get exercise have better muscle and joint health and generally have better morale than those cooped up for months.

It’s harder to plan winter activities for livestock when there’s snow and ice on the ground—but the effort it takes is worth the safety and health of the animals.

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Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter

Protect Their Feet and Hooves

Ice and snow on the ground can be painful and dangerous for livestock’s feet and hooves. For one, it can cause frostbite or result in slips and injuries to animals with hooves who can’t get a good grip on the icy ground.

Keeping the ground clear of ice and snow is crucial to keeping your livestock safe this winter, so shovel as much snow as you can and consider ice-melting materials such as wood chips, gravel, or sand.

Wash Bedding Frequently – Top Tips for Keeping Your Livestock Safe This Winter

In the winter, diseases such as pneumonia can run rampant through livestock, especially if their quarters are cold and damp. While you can’t change the weather, you can give your livestock more comfortable living conditions with some clean blankets and bedding.

It’s extra important to provide your animals with clean and dry materials for bedding to prevent diseases from taking hold.

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