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It is going to be COLD!

It is going to get cold! I have had lots of questions about helping the barnyard through the upcoming arctic weather. Well... in short...keep everyone dry and provide wind blocks.

Chickens: I will be removing my chicken water Wednesday and Thursday nights. There is no way that even the heated ones will not freeze. Replacing it in the morning with fresh, warm water. Twice daily I will warm up my tea kettle and make them a mash of layer, corn, and hot water. They will have a heat lamp. It is mounted on the ceiling limiting our fire danger. For every 50 chickens in my coop I provide 1 flake of pure alfalfa hay in the morning. It gives them something to do, and the alfalfa provides calcium and warmth.

Goats: Goats get a fresh layer of straw every day when it is this cold. I want to keep them up out of any wet or soiled straw that they might have in their house. Wednesday and Thursday nights they will be shut in their houses to reduce windchill. My Nubians do not do as well in this cold, so they have straw stacked on the outside of their house as well. The goat house are covered in plastic to reduce wind and contain body heat. All goats will receive a small amount of grass/alfalfa mix hay and they will be given all the grass hay they can eat. When their rumen (1st stomach) is processing fiber it produces heat. This keeps the animal much warmer. I encourage the goats to eat hay. I do not make any changes to their grain schedule.

Pigs: The pigs already have unlimited corn available to them. I will be giving a huge amount of straw and straw will be replaced daily. The idea is to give them enough straw to tunnel into. I have feed pumpkins in the house warming up. I will bake (warm up) the pumpkins in the oven and then go feed them to the pigs. Warm but not hot. I will also be hard boiling eggs and taking them warm eggs as snacks. The idea is to help them increase their body temperatures, similar to when we drink a hot beverage. I do not make them a hot slop. They would get it all over themselves and can get frost bite. I give 1 flake of alfalfa hay per every 2 pigs to help with bordum and heat production.

Rabbits: Tuesday the last of the rabbits will be moved from their outside hutches to temporary housing inside my rabbit barn. It will be crowded, but at least everyone will be warm. The most important thing is to provide a dry, place out of the wind for your rabbit(s). The rabbits will stay in the barn until Friday.

Horse: The horse will be fed hay inside the barn rather than only relying on the round bale outside. We will watch him for shivering and place the blanket on him if necessary.

Dogs: In the house.

Cat: In the house...he comes and goes as he pleases.

Baby goats: In the house.

I think that is everybody! Stay warm out there.

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