Floyd FainDecember 06, 2016
If you own a barn, it’s important to take precautions to keep it in solid shape throughout the winter. Winterizing your barn won't take countless hours or thousands of dollars.
Follow the seven tips outlined below and your barn will emerge from winter in tip-top shape.
Imagine waking up one winter morning to find your barn door has frozen shut. You can avoid this nightmare by performing a thorough clean beneath your barn doors before the cold temperatures arrive. Be sure to keep a few de-icing products on hand just in case a portion of the barn freezes.
If your barn's gutters are in shoddy condition, replace them to ensure melting snow is redirected appropriately.
Take a close look at your barn's windows, doors and other spaces to determine if a draft can make its way through. If you spot any holes, cover them to reduce the amount of cold air that seeps in. This is not to say you should create airtight seals throughout the entirety of your horse barn. An overly tight barn will lack air circulation and possibly lead to respiratory issues.
Your horses need a considerable amount of water throughout the winter. Don't let the water get too low or cold; horses are less inclined to drink extremely cold water.
Make use of heating buckets or take the time to remove ice as necessary. Keep in mind that horses enjoy warm water during the winter months, especially after physical activity.
If you notice spider webs along your barn's lights and electrical components, clean them off immediately. These spider webs are a legitimate fire hazard. Don't let webs accumulate in other spaces like windows. Your barn needs all the light it can get. Clear out those webs and let the natural sunlight spill in.
Furthermore, take the initiative to improve your lighting. Switch out those dead light bulbs for new ones. Do not hesitate to incorporate lighting in sections of the barn that lack illumination during the winter.
Though horses have thick coats, this hair is not enough to keep them warm and healthy in the midst of a cold winter. Keep spare dry blankets on hand in your barn so you can replace those wet blankets in a timely manner. Be sure to bed your horse stalls with more depth than you do during the warm months.
Consider your path to the manure pile when snow is piling up. Act now so this path stays wide and clear even during a snowstorm.
Give some thought to how you can better the transition between the stalls and the compost, bunker and manure pile. Implement some small stones along the path to enhance traction. Creating low ruts along the ground reduces the odds of getting stuck during those brutally cold months.
Your barn should feel like a true home for your horses. This means they should have access to feed throughout the winter without exception.
A well-fed horse will receive the nutrition his body requires to function as designed. A steady supply of food will also help your horses maintain their much-needed heat during the cold months. Stock up on horse feed as well as supplements ahead of time. This way, you won't have to make the trek to a feed store in the dead of winter.
To learn more about how to properly care for your horses, barn and arena, contact Red Master Harrow.