Temperatures are due to fall very shortly, with that comes increased rain, snow, wind, and frost. These are all challenges farmers across the UK are set to face once more. Collectively, farmers around the country are responsible for over 200 million animals from birds, to pigs, lambs, sheep, cattle, and calves. This puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the UK farmers. Are you prepared?
It’s so important to be winter ready, so we have devised a check list for you to take into consideration before the winter hits, fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Every farmer should undergo regular maintenance of all vehicles and machinery throughout the winter to make sure things are working as they should, taking all necessary steps to fix anything that needs mending before the weather hits. This includes making sure your tyres are fit and ready.
From providing the perfect trough to bird feeders, you need to make sure you have enough grain, silage, hay, and feed to fill your feeding equipment and keep your animals well fed through the cooler months when they require more energy and warmth to keep going. Be sure to have enough food for the winter months, the last thing you need to be doing is chasing suppliers for food when it’s too late.
Before the winter weather hits, it’s time to do a maintenance check on your outbuildings. Check your building is structurally sound, enough to take the weight of any unexpected snow falls. Additionally, check your roof and pipes aren’t likely to leak and cause any damage to your supplies, building, or animals.
With animals needing a constant supply of water it’s important to make sure all your pipework is working and not likely to break. It’s likely if you have exposed pipes outside the water will freeze and limit the water supply so ensure you cover up any potential risks that can lead to lack of water in the future.
Don’t forget to consider the sudden drops in temperature when it comes to looking after your livestock. If your buildings aren’t well ventilated and insulated, you can find your animals become poorly. Taking the necessary precautions before the cooler months arrive will give both yourself and your animals an easier ride through the long, cold, difficult months of the year. It’s common for the climate to be unpredictable so preparing early here is key.
In addition to taking precautions, throughout the winter you should regularly check on your animals. Make sure they’re breathing well and not showing any obvious signs of pneumonia. It’s key to protect your animals from extreme weather and supply constant water and food, housing with good ventilation and insulation to avoid illness and disease. If you take these steps ahead of the sudden drop then your farm should have a smooth-running winter.