Barn and Livestock Winter Prep Checklist

by Caitlyn Andrews December 16, 2015

Livestock and Barn Winter Prep Check List

We are already half way through December and the weather has stayed mild so far. Don't lower your guard just yet. Now is the time to make sure your farm is ready for harsher winter weather. We've compiled a checklist to help you stay organized and prepare your farm for winter.

Winter Farm Prep Checklist

Check Mark1. Feed

    Check your feed supply now. Winter storms or other hazardous driving conditions could make it difficult to get to the feed store. It could even mean late deliveries from suppliers to your feed store. Keeping extra feed and supplements on hand is always a good idea, but even more so in the winter. Ordering supplements online can save you a trip in the winter.

    Clean up your hay and feed storage areas to make room for extra feed. Make sure you have plenty of hay to get you through the winter and into spring. There is always the potential for hay to be in short supply during the winter and delivery can be difficult in the ice and snow. Stocking up now can save you the hassle of trying to find a hay supplier in the middle of winter.

    Check List2. Water

     Freezing water is a reality of winter. Prepare now by purchasing any tank heaters, heated water buckets, and extra tanks/buckets that are needed. Insulate pipes and check that any tank heaters or buckets you already have are working properly.

    Check Mark3. Fencing

    Have you walked along your fence lines lately? Before ice and snow cover your fences you need to walk along your fence line and check for damage. If a board is loose or hot wire is down, winter weather could make the situation worse. Make your repairs before winter hits to make it easier on yourself.

    Checklist4. Barn

    Your barn should be safe and ready for winter, especially if you have livestock that will be housed in the barn for part or all of the season. Make sure that there is good ventilation in your barn. Poor air flow can cause respiratory problems and unsanitary conditions. Just like the fencing, take precautions by making any fixes that are needed to your barn before winter makes repairs too difficult.

    Winter Check List5. Electrical

    Make sure all of your electrical systems are in working order. This includes testing your hot wire fencing if you have it. It would be beneficial to have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical systems. If you are using heaters in your water tanks then it is very important to be sure they are working correctly. Replace any light bulbs that are out. If you have a generator you can have it inspected so you know it's ready if you need it. If you don't have one, you may want to consider investing in one.

    Livestock Check List6. Livestock

    Don't overlook your animals themselves when preparing for winter. If you'll be feeding earlier when it gets darker then start getting them adjusted to their new feeding schedule now. If you have older livestock that will be needing extra calories to get them through the winter you should start adjusting their rations or adding supplements. Horses, in particular, should be gradually introduced to a new feed.

    Keep Reading: How to Keep Weight on a Sr Horse


    Caitlyn Andrews
    Caitlyn Andrews

    Author



    Leave a comment


    Also in Barn Talk

    How to Mix Calf Milk Replacer the Right Way

    by Caitlyn Andrews July 05, 2018

    Feeding a quality calf milk replacer offers many benefits to your calves. It can result in higher growth rates among other advantages.

    However, to maximize these benefits you need to make sure you are correctly mixing the milk replacer. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your milk replacer.

    Continue Reading

    Why You Should Always Remove the Net Wrap on Round Bales for Cattle

    by Caitlyn Andrews March 20, 2018

    Producers that fail to remove the net wrap from their round bales could be causing serious problems for themselves and their herd in the future.

    Net wrap refers to the wrapping or string that binds hay together. Round bales are commonly fed to cattle and the net wrap that keeps them together comes in different materials.

    It doesn't matter what type of wrap is used or whether the hay bales are fed whole or after grinding, many producers leave the wrap on.

    Continue Reading

    Maintaining Appetite for Healthy Cattle

    by Caitlyn Andrews October 13, 2017

    The primary concern of every producer is the health of their animals. Cattle producers know that the animal's appetite is an indicator of good health.

    Sometimes, maintaining a good appetite in your cattle is easier said than done.

    Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy appetite in your cattle.

    Continue Reading