This article was written by
Ari Stuckenschneider, Sales Representative for EqoPro!
Now is a great time to start preparing your barn for the Autumn and Winter months. Doing these things sooner than later will assure your barn is ready before the days get short and the temperatures get cold.
-Tip 1: Adjust Stall Airflow–
Ventilation is important. Too little airflow allows airborne dust to accumulate to unhealthy levels- on the other hand, too much airflow means bone-chilling drafts. You can check the air movement in each stall by holding a strip of toilet paper (about a foot or two long) at arm’s length in different areas of the stall. If the paper is motionless or flapping a lot, you will know there is either not enough or too much air movement. Open and close doors and windows until the paper is blowing gently.
Other things you can do to maintain good ventilation during the winter: remove manure and wet bedding on a consistent basis, use dust-free bedding, minimize condensation by maintaining the interior temperature at no more than 10 degrees above the outside temperature, and keep the barn clean (remove dust, spider webs, old hay, etc.).
-Tip 2: Spiff Up the Barn–
Look at your barn. Are any light bulbs burned out? Is it time to get new hoses? Are new rubber mats needed in any stalls? Are there any problems with the roof? Now is the time to fix these issues. The weather is nice and there isn’t any ice, which will make it easier to move mats, use your fingers, and stand on ladders to work on your barn.
Store battery-powered flashlights and lanterns in easily accessible locations, in case the electricity is out. While you are fixing the barn, don’t forget to look for areas where rodents can enter and fix them. Rodents will seek shelter from harsh weather conditions. Baits and traps can be used carefully, especially if cats live in the barn. To check your roof, stand inside the barn on a bright day and look for any defects allowing light to shine through. Repair any problems you find or arrange to have the work done. Install or repair rain gutters to avoid frozen doors. You might also look into Snow Guards to protect people, plants, animals, and property around the barn.
-Tip 3: Drain and Prep Wet Ground–
You can prevent these areas from icing over by using Ecoraster. Ecoraster is an Equine Grid System and Permeable Paving System that has been used for over 20 years to help keep areas dry, smooth and safer for you and your horses. Because water is allowed to seep into the ground rather than collect on the surface, your wet areas will have less buildup and the grid keeps the surface flat. Ecoraster has a 20-year warranty and is made from 100% recycled plastic bags (LDPE). LPDE plastic allows the grid to flex as the temperature changes- no frost damage from the cold and no deformation in the heat! The Ecoraster system is easy to install and can save you time and money for many years.
-Tip 4: Prepare Your Equipment for Winter–
Don’t forget about your equipment you will need for the Winter. Fill the tires on your Wheelbarrows- full tires make maneuvering easier. Make sure you have your snow shovels handy and that they are in good shape. If you have a snow thrower or tractor, make sure they are tuned and ready to go when you need them.
If you are tired of muddy gate, paddocks, watering, and wash areas or rutted walkers and roundpens, look at Ecoraster- the Pave of the Future!