Okay, so this one is easy. If you want to keep your animals warm, you put them inside, right? Shelter helps, especially when the skies open up and snow or ice begin to fall, but you don’t necessarily have to keep your animals cooped up all the time. Let them get some fresh (okay, frigid) air during the day when the sun is at its peak. As long as they’re equipped with some natural or man-made winter gear (think down for chickens and blankets for horses), they’ll be okay to roam for a little while.
Supplement whatever shelter your animals have with some extra bedding materials to keep them warm. This doesn’t mean you’re bundling up your finest Egyptian cotton just to keep your rabbits warm (unless you want to, of course…). It simply means buying some extra straw or litter to help them nestle in and retain more heat.
Keeping your animals well-fed is a great way to boost their energy and warm their bodies. In fact, bumping up their daily feed may even benefit your animals during winter months. Don’t worry too much about the extra weight gain; you can always cut back again in the spring. Just don’t skimp on their feed simply because it’s too cold to bundle up and go outside.
What better way to stay warm (besides a vacation in Puerto Rico) than to huddle close to someone you love? Animals benefit from this too. In fact, it’s the feline way of life around here. When sheltering your animals at night, group them as efficiently as possible to allow for shared body heat. This is a great way to keep hens warm, for instance. And while rabbits could also benefit from this, be careful to group them by gender (unless you want to add a lot of extra little bodies…).
It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean your critters have to suffer. For starters, keeping them sheltered, well-fed, and grouped together will help to keep the frostbite at bay.