As the snow falls in the country, it tucks us in for winter as it blankets the fields. It’s beautiful and peaceful, but as soon as the temperatures plunge our thoughts immediately turn toward our pigs. Time to bundle up, put on those insulated coveralls, hats, scarves, gloves and rubber boots and head outside to make sure the livestock are doing well and our hog waters are working properly.
During subzero temperatures, hog waters can freeze up, so we fill 5 gallon buckets full of hot water and carry them from the house to the field or pens. We slowly pour the hot water over them and thaw these waters out to get them working again. Pigs consume even more water when it gets very cold to stay hydrated and healthy while their body takes on the added task of keeping warm.
Pigs actually love the cold weather, but during extreme cold it’s more important than ever that they have free and easy access to water and to shelter where they can go inside and nestle warmly into their deep straw or cornstalk bedding. The pigs’ bedding is regularly replenished to keep them clean, dry, healthy and warm. Farming and raising livestock can be very physically demanding and time consuming during the cold winter months, but it’s worth it to see how happy the pigs are to have this kind of freedom. They rustle and romp in the snow and root through freshly laid cornstalk bedding. Doing the chores in these conditions brings about a great sense of satisfaction and even joy in taking care of our pigs.
Happy New Years to you and yours this season and thank you for your continued interest and support of the farmers who raise their livestock humanely and sustainably!