Keeping Livestock Warm – A Winter Challenge

Posted: January 31, 2023

Oh baby, it’s cold outside! While the snow is blowing and the temperatures drop farmers make sure their livestock is protected from the elements during the winter months.

In the winter, cattle, sheep and horses grow their own winter coats. As days get shorter, horses and cows grow long, coarse hair all over their bodies. They naturally have the insulating properties of a layer of blubber (fat) under the skin. It’s like having a heavy winter coat on to keep them warm.

If a cow has a dry, heavy winter coat, she can withstand temperatures below 20ºF before feeling any cold stress.

Farmers take extra care of their livestock by having a good feed supply available for them, shielding them from wind and rain with shelter; providing bedding to insulate them from the ground; and having an adequate supply of water available.