Providing sufficient water, ample high-quality feed and weather protection are the three most important things you can do to protect livestock from cold stresses this winter. Pay special attention to very young and very old animals that are less able to tolerate temperature extremes and have weak immune systems. Also, monitor heifers and cows as calving time approaches. They have a high risk of frostbite because the swelling of the udder and teats causes poor circulation.
Dehydration and hypothermia are the two most life-threatening conditions in cold weather. Animals tend to drink less water in severely cold conditions, increasing the risk of dehydration. Many animals, especially young ones, might not know how or be able to break through ice to reach water.
Be sure your livestock always have plenty of clean water. Water ranging from 40 to 65 degrees is ideal in cold conditions.
Generally, horses will need eight to 12 gallons of water per day; cows, seven to 12 gallons, and sheep and goats, one to four gallons.