With temperatures dropping below freezing, owners of livestock need to take measures to ensure their animals are healthy and comfortable this winter.
Livestock require access to clean, reliable and unfrozen water at all times. Owners often mistakenly believe livestock can meet their water requirements by eating snow or licking ice but neither are sufficient to meet an animal's water needs and both lower body temperature and increase energy needs.
Livestock's nutritional requirements can increase significantly during cold weather, especially if the animal becomes wet or there is wind. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best way to meet your livestock's winter feeding requirements.
Ensure your livestock have somewhere to go to get out of the elements including standing water and mud. A basic rule of thumb is a space approximately four times its body size that faces away from the prevailing winds and snow drift patterns.
Addressing the special environmental, nutritional and environmental needs of your livestock all year long, will help ensure optimal animal welfare.