Prepare the Farm & Ranch for Winter

As the temperature starts to drop this fall, it is a good time to begin preparing your farm or ranch for the winter. Along with taking care of the land and animals, it’s also important to ensure you’re ready to brave the colder temperatures and continue your important work. To help, here’s a guide to help you prepare your farm or ranch for winter!


One top way to prepare your farm or ranch for winter is to build, repair or replace feeders, fences or anything that may take some time. Doing this now in the fall can help you avoid spending long hours in the cold later on. If livestock or crops will be in your barn or shelter during the cold winter months, now may be a good time to clean it out and prepare it. 


Storing any equipment and tools that aren’t going to be used in the winter months is a good first step. Make room for machinery as well, especially if your farm or ranch is in an area prone to snow. Since these items are stored away and aren’t being used as often, schedule time to do maintenance to help ensure it stays in good working condition while it sits.

Animal Needs

Along with preparing the grounds for livestock, it’s important to have sufficient food and a large enough shelter for them all. Animals typically need extra food and water to maintain a healthy body temperature during cold days. Be sure to monitor needs of new mothers and babies going into the winter months. You may want to schedule time for a large-animal vet to provide check-ups and evaluate the overall health of the herd before moving them together into tighter confines. 

Work Conditions

Without the right precautions, working long hours in the cold could be detrimental to your well-being. Remember to take indoor breaks and regularly check your body as well as your employees for signs of cold stress. Before working outside or during an indoor break, drink or eat a warm and sweet snack. This can help re-energize the body and keep you from experiencing any issues associated with cold stress.


In preparing your farm or ranch, it’s important to prepare yourself as well. Occupational  Safety and Health Administration recommends wearing at least three layers of clothing when working in the cold. Additionally, wear insulated gloves and boots to protect hands and feet. If possible, avoid wearing cotton in cold and wet weather. Cotton tends to absorb moisture and dry slower than synthetic fabrics like wool and silk.

As you take steps to prepare your farm or ranch for the upcoming winter season, remember to contact your OKFB agent and review your Farm & Ranch policy. We’ve got you covered and are here to protect your farm and ranch needs.

Farmer hauling a hay bale in the snow