When you have horses, every season presents unique challenges with regard to their care. Keeping the animals and the barn safe from the snow and low temperatures is one of the biggest concerns during winter. From investing in high-quality horse feed to insulating the barn and getting it ready for the inclement weather, here are several strategies to follow.
How Can You Get a Horse Barn Ready for Winter?
1. Prioritize Insulation & Ventilation
The first step is to walk around the perimeter of the barn and look for holes and loose boards. Repair these areas to prevent cold air from getting inside the structure. While this insulates the space, you should still have adequate ventilation so that there is enough airflow to prevent respiratory issues. Often, the best way to do this is by making sure the barn doors are not airtight. For the stalls, make sure the doors have partitions in them so that the air can flow to each horse. Also, regularly remove dust, debris, and manure from the barn, as these contaminants hold moisture and increase the humidity of the area. Horse blankets and extra bedding such as shavings are great to add warmth.
2. Stock Up on Supplies
While you probably have already found the ideal horse feed for your animals, you may not keep much of it on hand. During winter, large storms can make driving more dangerous, so stock up on your preferred brand before the weather worsens. Make sure you have enough food to last for about two weeks so that you don't have to drive during a snow storm. However, avoid stocking too much, as you don't want the excess food to spoil. If your horses take supplements, purchase extra doses, as well. Lastly, be sure to add bucket de-icers to prevent horses' water from freezing.
3. Prevent Pest Issues
During winter, rodents and insects are constantly seeking food and shelter, so you'll need to fortify the barn. If you don't have pest-proof storage containers for your horse feed, invest in some. These boxes are made of thick plastic or metal to prevent animals from accessing or smelling the supplies inside. You can also use these containers to store hay, grain, and supplements. If you have smaller animals that are frequently in the barn, such as cats or dogs, avoid using bait traps in the area.
If you need to stock up on horse feed or any other farm supplies before winter, contact Bethel Feed & Supply Pet & Garden Center. Since 1984, they've been serving residents throughout Clermont and Brown counties, OH. They carry a variety of animal feed, garden supplies, and pet accessories. Visit the website for more information about their products, and call (513) 734-2246 to speak with a team member.
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