As the winter months approach, anyone who lives or works on a farm knows that they must check their winter items, gear, and equipment to make sure it’s in good shape and ready for the cold season. If you’re new to farm life, you may not have a good idea of what you need for the winter. Even if you have farmed for years, there might be a winter farm item you’re missing. Here are some must-have things you will want to have on the farm during the winter.
The Right Clothing
Working on the farm often means working outdoors. You’ll spend a good amount of time exposed to the elements, and you don’t get snow days. That’s why it’s important that you have the right clothing to keep you warm. If you get sick, you may still have to get out and do vital tasks such as feed the animals. That’s why it’s important that you wear multiple layers, including insulated shirts that are designed to keep your body heat in. Overalls provide protection from moisture, and you simply can’t work on a farm without a really good pair of winter boots. Gloves, a hat, a scarf or gaiter, and insulated socks round out your outfit.
A Digging Bar
You may already have a digging bar that you use to loosen the soil or remove rocks, but you may not realize how useful it is in the winter. While you won’t be doing much digging, this tool is perfect for breaking the ice that has formed on your watering troughs. If you do need to break through the frozen ground, a digging bar is going to make it much easier than a shovel.
Your animals need protection from the cold. These shelters can be permanent buildings on your property, but you can also get temporary livestock shelters that you put up during the winter and then take down once it gets warm. These shelters keep your animals protected and healthy. They offer cover from the snow and a warm surface to sleep on. They will also help protect water buckets from freezing over by keeping them out of the cold wind and providing some insulation.
Living on a farm typically means living in a rural area with few nearby houses. This means if a winter ice storm were to take down your power lines, it could be days or even weeks before your local utility company is able to repair your connection to the grid. They typically work to restore power to the more crowded areas first. A portable generator can run a few lights, a space heater, and maybe even your refrigerator. You may also need a generator in the barn from time to time. Make sure you get a large enough generator that you can run everything you need without difficulty.
De-Icer and Other Supplies to Avoid Slipping on the Ice
Frozen cement, metal grates, and even the ground can become very dangerous to walk on when it ices over. You want to have a good stock of de-icer, cat litter, sand, or other material on hand to help make the terrain safer. This is especially true if you are trying to move animals around. If you’re using a de-icing product, look for one that won’t kill the grass its used on. Also avoid using salt on the ground since it will make it difficult for anything to grow there.