navy blue timberland boots farms work to protect animals from inclement weather
“We keep a close eye on the animals and make sure they’re all doing OK,” Mathews said, adding it’s been unusual to have such a long stretch of low temperatures.
Colonial Williamsburg has more than 150 animals, including 31 horses, 19 American milking Devon cattle, six shorthorn oxen, 38 Leicester longwool sheep, more than 60 chickens, two dogs and a cat., said Paul Bennett, director of the Coach Livestock department.
On Wednesday, Bennett said his team brought the animals into shelter overnight with bedding, feed, water and all the necessities ready before any snow could arrive. No extra heaters were necessary, he said. Most of the horses were brought into the main barn on Franklin Street, along with some other animals, where they radiate significant warmth, he said.
“As long as you keep them well fed and well watered, nature protects them,” Bennett said.
Temperatures are expected to stay in the single digits to low teens throughout Friday and into the weekend. A wind chill advisory is in effect for the Peninsula area until mid morning Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
The Peninsula felt a low of 12 degrees shortly after midnight.
(Daily Press staff)
“The horses will be inside my team will be out taking care of the facilities,” Bennett said.
Local farmers said they ensured their cattle had extra food, as a full belly keeps them warm. Jones of Jones Farms in Isle of Wight County. “They’ve got their winter coats on.”
Jones Farms has 110 head of brood cows, or mother cattle, in addition to calves. The cattle can go into the woods to get out of the wind and snow, Jones said, adding he could put some hay out for them to lie on.
Pete Edwards of Windhaven Farm in Windsor said cattle need a place like the woods to escape the wind and that he gives his 350 cows, bulls and calves extra grain to keep them warm.
“As long as they got plenty to eat, they take it pretty good,” Edwards said.
Here are ways to best navigate a winter storm and the aftermath.
Jerry Gustin of Gustin Land and Cattle in Gloucester said his 40 cattle, including about 14 calves, have plenty of leaf cover in the woods and he ran extra water into tanks in case the farm lost power.
The cattle sunned themselves Wednesday before the anticipated snow and even though he opens up a shed in January and February, the cattle prefer the open pasture unless it gets really bad, Gustin said.