If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification
- Evacuate animals whenever possible – See Equine Emergency Evacuation information below
- Map primary and secondary evacuation routes in advance
- Identify vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal
- Ensure handlers and drivers are experienced
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment
- If evacuation is not possible, owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside
- Observe livestock, and look for early signs of disease and injury.
- Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily occur in the very young or in animals that are already debilitated.
Animals suffering from frostbite don’t exhibit pain. It may be up to 2 weeks before the injury becomes evident as the damaged tissue starts to slough away. Then the injury should be treated as an open wound; a veterinarian should be consulted.
Make sure your livestock has the following to help prevent cold-weather problems:
- Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals, and legs from the frozen ground and frigid winds
- Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions
- Plenty of food and water