Keeping animals protected during the winter’s harsh weather

Mikayla Cowan, Reporter

In the winter months, outdoor animals seek shelter in various places, stray cats hide inside porches and in tire holes. Some animals are moved place to place by their owners. Avery Jones-Taylor, a junior at PCHS, takes care of about 300 sheep.

“I’ve had my animals ever since I was born,” Taylor said.

Sheep have wool, but that is not all they need to be kept warm.

“We keep them in the barn and we usually turn on the heaters,” Taylor said.

Animals are a lot of work, but Colton Hadley a student a PCHS has a lot of animals. He has horses, donkeys, cattle, dogs, cats, and chickens and it doesn’t take that much time out of his day.

“It doesn’t take that much time out of my routine, I’ve had animals so long that they are built into my daily routine,” Hadley said.

The amount of money to take care of animals is about $150 or more a month, but during winter the cost goes up.

“The price does go up for us just for the fact that we like to be overly prepared,” Hadley said.

Different animals have different ways to be taken care of. Sheep are a naturally scared animal, so it takes more time for them to warm up to people.

“Sheep are a little more scared of humans than other animals, so it takes a lot more work for them to start to like you and want to be around you,” Taylor said.

There are various places for animals to stay in the summer and the winter months, but sometimes the places they stay in, stay the same. They can change due to winter, or rainy days.

“They stay in the barn in the summer and winter. We just turn the heaters on and keep all the doors closed during the winter,” Taylor said.
Hadley said that they keep their animals in a pasture so they can get in the dry area, but when winter starts to set in they move them into warmer enclosed areas.

“Winter is hard on a lot of animals, but we take precautions to make sure that their animals are safe,” Hadley said.

“A wet winter is probably the worse thing that can happen. Cold and wet doesn’t really help keep bedding dry,” Hadley said.

Summer can be just as hard as winter because fur can overheat the animals.

“Hot weather is probably the worse because sheep don’t sweat and they have a lot of wool,” Taylor said.

Farm animals are not the only animals that stay outside with very little ways to keep warm. People keep their dogs outside and they don’t have that much warmth.

“No dog — not even the toughest Arctic sled dog — is meant to spend huge amounts of time outside in the winter. A thick coat doesn’t protect all body parts,” Amanda Gardner – Cold Weather Tips for Dog Owners.

“Their ears are exposed, their paws are in direct contact with cold cement, their nose is sticking out there in the wind,” says K.C. Theisen, director of pet care issues at the Humane Society of the United States.