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winterizing the barn & herd

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats Agricultural Sulfur
Posted by Nat on October 07, 2001 at 20:25:06:

As winter is getting closer, I really started to think about getting my barn ready for the cold weather and soon to come snow drifts.. ugh.. I went to milk this morning and wanted to put one of my goat sweaters on me! (I don't usually blanket animals unless they're sick, or slick sheared)

I thought i'd put up a list of things that I like to do with cold weather approaching. Let me know if anyone else has ideas to add too!

-Bring all liquid meds, fly sprays, ect into the house before they freeze. Most things denature when they get frozen and thaw a few times.

-Roll up all those tangled garden hoses, and be sure they're drained well.

-wash and store all feeders and buckets that aren't being used while the weather is above freezing.

-dig out all the stock tank heaters and be sure they are goat-proof and still work well. (be sure to slide either old hose on the cords, or pvc pipes) Test heat tape too!

-make sure all your fencing is ok so you dont have to mess with posts in frozen ground as frosts are looming.

-If you have to, pipe wrap the waterlines and add some pvc ontop or another anti-goat-chew device. Goats love plastic and foam during the winter for some reason :-)

-If you can, be sure to stock up on hay while its still somewhat cheap. Running out mid-winter can be costly.

-Replace plastic buckets for rubber ones. The bounce back better from pounding with a hammer to release ice.

-De-louse all the goats while their shaggy coats are growing in and deworm everyone. Trim hooves too while you can do so without having your hands get too cold.

-Cull, cull cull... unless your goats are strictly pets, get rid of the animals that arn't pulling their weight, or unhealthy ones. No point of feeding a few extra through an expensive feed time.

-Pull barn windowns out of storage, or get some plastic to staple up on openings. Keep some ventilation avalable, but try to get rid of those nasty drafts.

-Replace missing or burnt out light bulbs, the days are getting shorter : light for evening chores is a nice luxury.

I can't seem to think of anything else off hand... feedback - any more ideas, or tips that help you survive the snow?! (short of moving to a warmer climate.. hmm goats and Hawaii.... :-D )
-Nat' s Little Bit

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