We’ve been enjoying nice sunny temperatures and it’s hard to believe that winter is almost here. Temperatures are predicted to go down next week and be more reflective of the November that we’re used to seeing. Now is the time to prepare your pets and livestock for chilly weather.
Horses currently need a wormer with a Boticide in it. Ask your local vet or farm store for advice in choosing this kind of product. It’s also a good time to worm sheep, cattle, cats and dogs.
Shelter, food and water are also primary concerns. An animal’s diet helps combat more energy-demanding weather. Many animals may need a food change to a higher protein level.
For example, chickens may need a 16% protein feed so they are more consistent egg layers. This time of year, chickens tend to lay less and conserve more of their energy. You may also want to think about buying a heated waterer for your birds.
Horses and cattle may need grain to also help them meet energy requirements during cold weather. As it helps maintain a more consistent body temperature. Access to water is important in the winter and something that can be overlooked.
This is also a good time of year to stock up on vet supplies such as vaccines and lambing and calving aids in addition to colostrum (the first fluid produced by mothers, which is antibiotic rich), which is a must for newborn animals if they are orphaned, or are rejected by their mothers.
Adequate shelter is important especially for dogs and cats that may live outdoors. Straw is a good insulator for a shelter or pet house and is relatively inexpensive to buy. Make sure you pets have access to water and food and make sure the water isn’t frozen. Heated water bowls and buckets are readily available for purchase and are also inexpensive.
It’s also a good idea to check on animals more frequently during the winter months to make sure animals are healthy and faring well in colder temperatures.
Pests are something to be aware of as they are “winter opportunists”. Mice often come indoors looking for warmer digs and better food sources. It’s a good time to prepare and buy traps before your home or farm gets overrun.