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EmailThe University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has issued a press release alerting horse owners about threats to their horses welfare due to the extreme winter weather in Central Kentucky.
Whether you need a basic loafing shed, a safe horse shelter, a dry place to help your cows calve or a place to store your tack, these tough, HEAVY DUTY all steel buildings should last you a lifetime.
This stall barn frame has two 10’x 12’ stalls with a salt box roof design giving an added protection from the weather plus a classic look, yet remaining completely portable. The winter blast extends beyond Central Kentucky and we also encourage owners to be aware of important health safeguards necessary in winter. 12' x 36' with center tack room, swing out feeders (filled from tack room), plywood lining, crib guard and six foot high gates. Many older horses with poor dentition do well through the summer when consuming mainly soft, rich grass, but lose condition rapidly as winter advances. It is important to remember that you can’t just look at the horse to assess body condition.
You must put your hands on them to accurately determine condition because hair and blankets can hide problems this time of year. Monitor water intake! Another way to minimize a horse’s energy demands this winter is to provide some sort of shelter.  A clean, thick winter coat is the equine’s first line of defense against mother nature but that perfect insulator when dry and raised, is lost when the coat gets wet. Providing shelter in the form of a run-in shed or well ventilated stall allows horses to stay dry and stay out of the wind.To blanket, or not to blanket?

7, 2010) – Kentucky is in the throes of an early season arctic blast that could cause problems for livestock operations. “A deep, upper-level low-pressure system will linger over the northeastern United States through the next few days,” said Tom Priddy, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture meteorologist. Drier air will be filtering into the region tonight with dewpoints dropping into the teens to single digits.”Priddy said a blast of arctic air will filter into the lower Ohio Valley this week and highs could only be in the 20s for most Kentucky locations. Combining these temperatures with the gusty winds will cause an extended period of livestock coldstress in the danger and emergency categories. Livestock producers should take precautions and try to understand how these conditions could impact their animals.Low ambient temperatures can increase the energy requirements of horses as they compensate to maintain core body temperature. If horses have already reached maximum hay consumption, then an increase in grain can be implemented. However, all changes to grain intake should be made gradually.”According to Lawrence, regular body condition scoring is also recommended for horses. Heavy hair coats can often camouflage weight loss in horses, so it is important that horse owners check the amount of fat cover over the ribs and spine regularly, she said. If the boney structures start to feel more prominent, it is an indication the horse is losing weight and that the diet should be changed.Lawrence offered another tip. Horses are less efficient at digesting low quality hay than cattle, so it is very important to offer them good quality hay in adequate amounts. Under normal conditions adult horses will usually consume 20 to 25 pounds of good quality hay per 1,000 pounds of body weight each day.

During cold weather this allocation should be increased by 30-50 percent, depending on the severity of the weather.“The importance of making sure animals have adequate water cannot be understated,” she added. If the hair is wet and full of mud, air is excluded, reducing the insulating value and increasing heat loss from the skin to the environment.
The density of the hair coat and its moisture level impacts the windchill temperatures at which cold stress is considered mild, moderate or severe.
As little as 0.1 inch of rain can immediately impact cold stress severity by matting the hair down reducing its insulating ability.
Smaller animals have a greater surface area relative to body weight and thus a larger area that can lose heat. Horse owners should be aware that cold weather can slow growth because calories are diverted from weight gain to temperature maintenance. To minimize a growth slump during very cold weather, young horses should be given more calories by increasing hay quality and quantity and by providing adequate grain supplementation,” Lawrence said.

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