Wet weather, rain or snow, is on the horizon! The long, cold months can be hard on both farmers and animals – especially if you’re not prepared. Before the weather gets bad, make sure your farm is ready by reading our preparation tips.
1. Prepare or fix your shelters
Animals are much more sensitive to being wet and wind-blown than to the cold temperatures. The shelters need to be as leak proof and wind proof as possible. If you need to fix the roof, build shutters for windows, etc., now is the time to do so. Even something as cheap and easy as stapling chicken feed bags across window openings will make a difference and may even last you through the seasons.
2. Cover feeders or bring the feed inside
Rain can get into uncovered feeders and ruin the expensive feed. Wet feed goes bad quickly and can kill your poultry or other livestock. Even wet alfalfa can produce toxins and mold! If you don’t have a barn to bring the feed inside, invest in a tarp to cover the feeder or hay; it’s much cheaper than replacing it all!
3. Add straw to shelters
Make sure your coops and shelter floors are lined with a thick layer of straw. Straw helps to maintain the nutrient content of manure by absorbing nitrogen. This then helps keep smells away and provides an insulating layer between animals and the cold, wet ground. Additionally, straw keeps the ground from getting muddy.
4. Deworm your animals
Animals go through their energy much quicker in the colder seasons, meaning they need more food. In order to take proper care of your animals, invest in deworming before the cold, wet weather hits. Ensuring they are properly dewormed is better for your animals and better for your budget too!
5. Get that to-do list, to-done
We know there’s no actual end to what needs to be done on a farm! But it’s important to put away tools and equipment so the rain and snow doesn’t destroy them. Also, insulate your pipes so they don’t break with the colder temperatures! Consider getting a generator in case the electricity goes out. If there are additional things, write them down so you don’t forget!
6. Don’t forget about yourself
Lastly, don’t forget about taking care of yourself! Farming is difficult and you have to make self-care a priority too. Enjoy a nice family evening, or take a night out on the town! Your health is just as important as the animals’ and farm’s.