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


    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.

    Also in Barn Talk

    Learn How NetSuite Can Help Your Farm

    by Caitlyn Andrews July 11, 2021

    Did you know we have a customer portal? Learn more about NetSuite and how it can help you. Just like it helps large livestock operations like Farbest.

    Continue Reading

    Can Pets and Livestock Eat Leftover Halloween Pumpkins?

    by Caitlyn Andrews November 12, 2019

    Fall is here and that means it's time for pumpkin-everything. 🎃 

    But what do you do with your pumpkins once the season is over? If you throw them out your pets could be missing out on a tasty snack.

    For livestock, pumpkins can even stand in as an additional feed source.

    Continue Reading

    How to Control Mosquitoes on the Farm

    by Caitlyn Andrews July 16, 2019

    Mosquito season is here. We've had a wet spring and mosquitoes are thriving. And these pests are more than annoying.

    They're a threat to farms everywhere. They carry disease. They annoy animals. They even affect your livestock operation's bottom line.

    In this article, you'll learn about mosquitoes, the harm they cause, and ways to control them on your farm.

    Continue Reading