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Preparing your barn for winter

As winter approaches, it makes sense for you to prepare your barns as best as you possibly can so that you are ready for the harsh conditions it may bring. Readiness is everything and it is vital that this type of work is carried out before the winter really sets in for good. All outdoor tasks are easier and less dangerous to perform without the added potential hazards of howling winds, rain, and freezing conditions.

There are no hard and fast rules for this, and of course barns can be used for a variety of different purposes. For this reason it is important to rely on common sense and simple care.

General cleaning and scrubbing must be the first job, as this becomes much more difficult during those freezing winter months, and you are less likely to want to do it then!

An obvious task is to check for drafts and make repairs where necessary. Drafts are not just uncomfortable, they can be downright dangerous to livestock.

Although drafts are unwelcome, it is also important to have sufficient ventilation, so clean and test those fans.

Make sure that horse blankets are clean and dry and ready for use, temperatures can plummet quite unexpectedly.

Water troughs should be clean and a heating element used to ensure that the water does not become frozen, so double check all those wires and casings for cracks and make sure that the water does not have a chill to it.

The next thing is to use your storage barns to their full potential. Stockpiling hay and other types of feed will save you much time and effort in the long run, and dry, warm hay is an absolute must on all farms and small holdings.

These few basic undertakings should mean that you and your livestock are ready for anything!

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