Well old man winter has finally showed his face….and in Northwest Montana he came roaring in. As snow was starting to fall and the temps were dropping I along with everyone I know spent the day outside picking up everything that should have already been put away and battening down the hatches. You know getting stock tank heaters in place, moving hay a little closer to the fence, and splitting a little extra wood to help keep us warm and toasty. What about your horses and mules? What can you do for them when the weather gets chilly or at my place down right cold? Cold to me is different than cold to you. Like this morning I was messaging my nephew who lives in CA. and he said hey its cold here too…..It’s only 55 out I said we are 80 degrees colder than you are, with the wind chill. This isn’t about do you blanket or not blanket, there is a lot of good information out there on this subject, every person and situation is different. The whole blanket subject is almost worse than discussing politics. I was at the Vet on Saturday with a horse and I asked them about salt…..Because at Trailhead Supply the sale of salt blocks almost dies off in the winter. No one wants to spend good money on a salt block just to toss out in the snow and have it slowly dissolve away. Plus there is a good majority of folks that don’t think the stock needs salt in the winter because they are not out working and sweating. Do you still salt your food in the winter? Of course you do you need it to survive it is an important mineral. The vet told me they don’t really see a lack of salt or mineral issue due to most people supplementing their animal forage with some type of grain or pelletized feed. Whether the animal needs it or not it makes us feel better giving them a little something extra. But the real benefit is that feed has some of the minerals in it that the animal needs. Check their water supply make sure it isn’t frozen good clean water is a must!!! Even though its bitter cold out go check on them!!! Provide a wind break even if it’s just moving them to a pasture with trees. Take care of yourself when out caring for them, you don’t want to slip and fall in the ice. Keep gates shoveled open and don’t plow the trailer in, if you do you’ll need it. Hang in there spring is only 3 months away.
Now that you have checked on everyone, and all is well, go pour a hot cup of coffee.
Photo Credit: Kathy Young