Here in Conroe, we are fortunate to have fairly mild winters compared to most of the United States. However, with cooler temperatures right around the corner, there are still some preparations that should be made to ready your livestock for winter. While our growing and grazing is longer than in other places, we still have to hunker down from time to time and our animals should have everything they need to make it through the winter happy and healthy.
At Conroe Feeders, we are dedicated to the health, happiness, and safety of all of Conroe’s animals, including livestock. We have everything you and your whole ranch need to make this a comfortable and successful winter. Join us in today’s post as we share some fall tips for preparing your livestock for the winter ahead.
Stock up on feed.
As fall advances and winter approaches, your livestock will be depending less on the vegetation of the land, and more upon the feed you offer. While they may no longer be roaming and grazing their days away, their nutritional demand actually increases to help keep the animal warm. A well-balanced diet full of vitamin and nutrient-rich food throughout the winter will help ensure productivity in the spring. Whether you have a dairy farm, raise sheep for their coats, or breed stallions, spring is an important time in your ranch’s output. And, as the famous saying goes, summer bodies are made in the winter.
If you aren’t sure what your livestock’s nutritional requirements are if you have a specific diet, chances are we have what you need for all of your animals at Conroe Feeders. Come on down and speak with our fees experts to get exactly what your herd needs.
Prepare shelter and bedding.
If you don’t have a permanent or year-round shelter for your livestock, ensuring they have some form of shelter in the winter is important. Shelters will help break the wind and protect from rain or snowfall as well as reduce the stress that grazing animals experience when the grazing season ends.
Stock up on plenty of bedding to keep animals warm and cozy. If your livestock used bedding materials during the summer months as well, just be mindful that they may need more to regulate temperatures in the winter. If your animals’ bedding is susceptible to moisture, it is good practice to put a base layer of sand or sawdust beneath it to help keep the bedding as dry as possible. When bedding is damp or wet, it will increase the chill and discomfort your livestock experiences.
If your animals live in a structure, such as a barn or a stable, fall is the perfect opportunity to clean and lay fresh bedding. It is essential to keep animals dry and protected during cold months.
Ensure access to clean, fresh water.
When temperatures reach freezing or dip below, keeping fresh water available may become more difficult and require more attention than normal. Ice is not something that most of your herd will be able to consume for water when troughs freeze over. You can use insulated water troughs to help and full water containers will warm water, but always ensure that your animals have access to clean, thawed drinking water.
Groom and trim animals.
Regular grooming and trimming are important all year round, however, needs may be reduced throughout the winter. We recommend grooming animals in the fall to allow for a clean coat to better protect from the cold. Allow hair to thicken through the winter without much cutting. Come spring, you can then resume your normal warm weather grooming and bathing routine.
Hoof trimming and maintenance is important throughout the entire year. Regular inspections and trimming should continue throughout the winter. Although trimming needs may be reduced in colder temperatures, it is important to continue to assess the need.
Fall can be a busy time on the ranch, readying you livestock for the winter ahead, but the effort you put in now will pay off big come springtime. For all the supplies you and your livestock need including bedding, animal feed, and expert advice, head down to Conroe Feeders today!