It has been a cold winter so far in West Michigan, and with cold weather comes new challenges.
Trying to keep your herd warm can be especially challenging as that mercury dips below freezing. I am going to lay out a few different tips and tricks that will help you fend off Old Man Winter.
Your biggest issue is the ground.
So much of your animals body heat is lost into the ground when they lay down to rest or sleep. This includes dirt and concrete floors. To combat this you should use the “Deep Litter” Method.
This is a fancy way of saying “cover all the poop and pee with straw every few days”.
If your going to be using this method you want to start with a clean barn, stall, or whatever you have. Lay down a base layer of straw or sawdust enough to where you cannot easily move it out of the way to see the ground beneath.
As your herd soils the layer keep adding more straw to give a fresh bed to lay on….and poop on.
Repeat until Spring.
The pros to this method is the bottom layers are going to be prime fertilizer when it comes to prepping the garden come spring.
The worst part is clean-up after a long winter. That soiled straw can be packed down pretty dense and might do a number on your back.
You might be thinking the wind is the biggest issue or the snow itself. A proper shelter should remedy both of these possible problems.
Smarter people than myself have said that the natural composting that happens in the lower layers keeps the worm population at bay. This is good news as worm loads are always on goat owners minds.
There are many options when it comes to keep your 4 legged friends warm. This is just one way to go about it. I encourage you to do your research and find what works best for you.
Until Next Time Friends,