As we settle in preparing for record breaking cold this weekend, I got to poking around for some farm management tips for the cold weather. Our beloved horses and their homes are definitely as risk when the temperatures drop, so ensuring that you are taking precautionary measures when preparing your barn for the elements is vital. The Horse published a handy checklist full of tips on making sure that your farm and its residents are taken care of when the frigid temperatures hit.
Frozen hoses and drafty barns are just the beginning of potential issues that can occur when you’re dressed in multiple layers and reminding yourself how much you love the equestrian life. Here are a few of the helpful hints brought to you courtesy of The Horse:
A critical element to keeping your horse healthy in winter months is ice-free water. A horse that stops drinking is more likely to suffer from impaction colic (caused by an obstruction in the bowel), or he might eat less. In winter a horse generally consumes about five to 10 gallons of water per day, and more if exercised.
Nutritional considerations are important to help keep your horse healthy in all seasons. Scott is well-versed in cold weather care of horses. She points out that for every degree below freezing, your horse’s nutritional needs could increase as much as 5-10%. Provide good-quality grass hay that, through fermentation by large intestinal microbes, will generate heat from within, like an internal combustion chamber.
For much more on winter farm maintenance and horse care, head over to The Horse and check out the full article.