SMALL RUMINANT PRODUCTION WINTER PREPAREDNESS
By Robert Spencer
North Alabama Extension Specialist
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

AS THE MANAGER OF YOUR FARM THERE ARE THINGS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BY NOW AND THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER FOR THIS WINTER.

Planning ahead minimizes the opportunity for emergencies during the coldest of days!
Forages
• Do your pastures have adequate forage availability for this fall and winter?
• Do you have the ability to implement rotational grazing if additional grazing areas are needed?
• If not, what kind of back-up plan do you have?
Hay
• Do you have adequate amounts of hay to get your animals through winter and into early spring?
• If not, what kind of back-up plan do you have?
• Do you have "average" hay for animals without special needs?
• Do you have high-quality hay for lactating animals?
Fertilizer
• Have your pastures been fertilized this fall to insure high nutritional value forage?
• If not, have you made plans for supplemental feeds and feeding?
Lime
• Have your pastures been limed this fall?
• Liming pastures contributes to: insuring forages are able to access nutrients for the soil; sweeten the flavor of existing forages; and minimizes parasite problems.
Shelter
• Do your animals have adequate shelter for cold and rain conditions? While a simple pole barn is adequate for keeping animals dry, they need a way to get out of the wind when wind-chill is a factor.
Nutritional Planning
• Do you have plans for supplemental grain feeding if necessary?
• Do you have plans to address the nutritional requirements of lactating animals?
Feed
• What resources do you have for supplemental grain feeding?
• Is it the best quality for the lowest price?
Water
• Is water readily available despite weather conditions? Freeze-proof faucets are always a good idea.
• Are water containers close by to water sources?
• Are automatic water systems protected from freezing?
• How will you deal with water troughs freezing over?
• What is your back-up plan in case temperatures remain below freezing for several days?
Nursery
• Do you have a nursery area for nannies that are kidding?
• Is the area adequately enclosed to keep animals comfortable and protected from freezing conditions?
• Are you able to set up heat lamps if necessary?
• Are there facilities allowing access to water, feed, and hay?
Kidding Area
• Do you have an area for kids to remain protected from extreme weather conditions?
• Is there an area for them to get away from the adults and young goats?
• Do you have the ability to set up supplemental heating if needed?
Creep-Feeding Area
• Does your farm have access to an area that allows young animals to creep feed?
• If not, can you readily set up a creep-feeding area for the young animals?
• What type of feeding schedule will you establish for the young animals?
• Do they have access to water, hay, and feed at all time or just specific times?


PREPARING FOR SPRING

Forages
• What conditions are your pastures?
Hay
• Do you have enough hay to get through the spring?
• What is your back-up plan if more is necessary?
Fertilizer
• When (if) do you plan on fertilizing?
Lime
• It takes a long time after application of lime for the lime to have an effect; but if you did not lime in the fall, spring lime application is better than none.
Shelter
• Does your barn allow for adequate ventilation as temperatures warm up?
Nutrition Planning
• Do you have adequate forage available (nutritional value) or will you need to provide supplemental feeding?
• Do you have plans for supplemental feeding lactating nannies and young animals?
Feed
• Does the nutritional value of your hay and feeds appropriately neet the needs of your animals?
Water
• Is plenty of water available as temperatures increase and so does water consumption by your animals?
Nursery
• Do you have a sheltered nursery area for nannies who are kidding?
Kidding Area
• Do you have an area for kids to get away from adults and to rest?

Creep-Feeding Area
• What plans do you have for creep feeding young and weanlings?

 
 
Urban Regional Extension Specialist
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
802 Veterans Dr.
Florence, AL 35630
(256) 766-6223 Office
(256) 718-2049 Fax
(256) 689-0274 Cell





Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168


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