From: Gayle Goetzman
Like us, our animals need adequate nutritional food, clean, open water, and shelter with space for all.
Our weather has surely been as unpredictable and difficult as life can be these past cold, wet, and snowy winters. Our animals depend on us for their basic needs to survive the winter, with older animals needing extra care and attention to maintain their good health.
Domestic animals can acclimate to cold weather if left in the colder temperatures as the seasons change. However, they need easy access to shelter from sleet, snow, hail, wind and storms, such as a stable, barn, or open-sided shed. I do not believe most trees give enough shelter. Also, be aware that animals at the bottom of the pecking order may need separate shelter from the “boss” animals. An animal’s winter coat is a good insulator when dry but when wet the insulating value is lost. Animals need to be kept dry and sheltered from moisture, just like us.
As I travel the countryside my heart aches when I see animals not given even the basic, common sense care to keep them healthy, comfortable and productive. I’m again reminded of my school teachings - treat others (all living things) as you, yourself, want to be treated!