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CloversMum Posted - Nov 09 2014 : 9:13:01 PM
When I visited with MaryJane this past Saturday to discuss Clover's breeding future, she gave me some tips about winterizing Clover's shelter. And, I was wondering what the rest of you do?

MaryJane said that my three sided shelter was great; however, I might consider putting up temporary/winter fourth partial side. That way if the wind was whistling around, Clover could get inside an area where the wind wasn't blowing. She said that they do that for some of their own cow shelters...just using sheets of plywood. We are going to get that done in the next few days. MaryJane also said it didn't need to be very wide for just one cow...even just 4-6 feet wide. Clover can withstand the cold temperatures but it makes it especially hard dealing with wind on top of cold.

Do the rest of you do anything special for shelters, especially in the winter?
14   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
farmlife Posted - Nov 22 2014 : 5:02:54 PM
I don't have water or power out there, but I'm thinking next summer maybe we can run both. Do a hydrant and Bar Bar A waterer, plus electricity. The chicken coop is on the other end of the shelter, so it would be nice to have water and power for them, too. Currently we don't want to run an extension cord in case the cows chew on it.
CloversMum Posted - Nov 19 2014 : 09:37:20 AM
Your dream and future plans for the shelter are exactly like mine! I do have a stanchion of sorts already on one side...had a side rail made just like MaryJane has in her book and it works like a charm. Then my husband made a head catch out of lumber we already had and it works great. We hope to pour concrete in it next year and get power there. There's water right there, already.

farmlife Posted - Nov 19 2014 : 05:02:35 AM
Your shelter looks a lot like ours, Charlene. Ours opens to the south, so it works really well here. Any other direction would get a lot of wind. So far so good. We are in the process of putting a stanchion in on one side. My dream for the future is that we would build a wall and a door and just use it for milking and calving and put another shelter out in the pasture. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime we are scooping lots of frozen cow pies out as well.
CloversMum Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 9:18:02 PM
Recycle and reuse is a good way to do things! My father-in-law still pulls, straightens, and reuses nails. Sometimes we laugh, but he is the most giving, kind man I know and he would give you the shirt of his back if he knew it would help you out.
Ron Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 6:53:49 PM
We use allot of pallets. I like to stack my hay on pallets as well as firewood. Makes for good siding,great furniture pieces and firewood or starter for the broken ones! Back in the less fortunate times used to pull and straighten the nails and reuse them too!
CloversMum Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 5:31:49 PM
That's a good idea, Ron! At the moment, it seems to be enough as the shelter is angled just right. And, I actually like the light that the pallets let in...Clover seems very willing to come in. I am thankful for the pallets that my husband gets at work...we've put them to good use around here!
Ron Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 5:26:43 PM
My goodness it looks like cow heaven! Nice building. Good job with the pallets. If you ever feel the need to you can always take some slats off some other pallets and put them in the spaces on you wall pallets and not need to buy plywood.
CloversMum Posted - Nov 14 2014 : 5:11:03 PM
Photos of Clover's winterized shelter: (we didn't have extra sheets of plywood so used what we had: pallets...and actually, it has been enough of a wind break for Clover. I was surprised, and pleased.)

And, inside:

CloversMum Posted - Nov 13 2014 : 11:28:47 AM
Absolutely no mud around here! Just frozen everything...including cow pies! So easy to clean out Clover's shelter this way. I am very thankful for my insulated coveralls. I can stay toasty warm in those things.
NellieBelle Posted - Nov 11 2014 : 3:00:28 PM
I know Charlene. I couldn't stand the thought of the cows/calves out in that wind since the temps went from warm to frigid in must a matter of a couple of hours. I think Nellie and Sienna would have been fine and probably even Pumpkin (has the coat of a grizzly right now), but Autumn Cider would have been cold I know. His coat hasn't thickened in the least that I can tell. So I opened up the barn and said "come on in, make yourself comfy." And boy did they. We need to make a shelter for the horses, but for now they will all get to go into the barn when it's bad. Thank goodness the mud is gone or it would have been a fright.
CloversMum Posted - Nov 11 2014 : 10:12:49 AM
I checked on my goats and Clover this morning to see how they handled the cold last night and all was well. My husband and son put up several pallets for a fourth wall for Clover...not enough time to frame up a plywood wall and I didn't want a tarp whistling in the wind and scaring Clover. The pallets actually really helped break the wind and gave Clover just the right amount of shelter. I just don't think the animals had much of a chance to build up their winter coats since just last week it was still in the 50-60 degree range. But, I also tend to worry about my critters too. The wind is most definitely a old man winter wind today, but beautiful sun!
Ron Posted - Nov 10 2014 : 10:01:55 AM
They will do fine with you as Mum!
CloversMum Posted - Nov 10 2014 : 08:41:45 AM
Thanks for the tips, Ron. The plywood is going up today just before our temps are to drop significantly tomorrow and Wednesday. Yes, I know my critters are spoiled and I prefer it that way! My hubby laughs at me as I always want to bring them into the garage since we don't have a barn yet. To be able to get out of the wind seems to be the most important key...and Clover always has access to hay.
Ron Posted - Nov 09 2014 : 9:20:44 PM
Hi Charlene. Air temps get down to thirty below zero here in the winter and wind chills make it feel much worse. We have two sheltes 12 wide by 20 deed and they are 3 sided. One has a sheet of plywood to block the NE wind. Always have plenty of deep clean bedding. I have been using the hay the cows dont eat as bedding remove the soiled two times daily and add to the pile. I also have a feed tub in the shelter in winter for that midnight snack too!
They seem to do well. Of course the range cows around here are always out in the thick of it so I figured my house cow is spoiled!