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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    horse country, usa
    Posts
    694

    Default wind chill days and cold temps

    We're under a wind warning this morning here. Current temp is 18 with a wind chill making it feel like 0....but when I fed, there is hardly any wind so I put a ton of hay out and put horses out. I don't have a run in but the woods shield them as well as the back of the barn and house. They were toasty warm and wanted out.

    I feel guilty tho....but I do live here so figured I could put them in if the wind picked up....I was warm under my down so thinking they are fine....still feeling like they should be in however I'm hoping walking around is helping.

    What do you do on these extreme days?
    For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001
    Posts
    6,704

    Default

    I leave them out. Wind chill of 0F is little consequence to a horse, unless they are somehow compromised. In general, people blanket and stable for their comfort, not the horse. It was -30F wind chill here three weeks ago. The idiots were blasting around the pasture.

    You did all you need with plenty of hay and unfrozen water.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,490

    Default

    Yup, agree with RAyers...if they're not compromised in any way they should be fine.
    Just keep an eye outside on them if possible from time to time. If they look uncomfy (hunched up, waiting at a gate, shivering, etc) consider bringing them in or bringing some heated water down to the barn and topping off their cold water.
    Sometimes we forget that they need extra hydration to stay warm as well as extra hay.
    My 2 are outside and being dorky as usual. They are blanketed right now, but that's more for hay conservation. They get plenty normally and these temps wouldn't be an issue but it's windy here now too. Plus I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you" LOL!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
    Posts
    3,010

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Yup, agree with RAyers...if they're not compromised in any way they should be fine.
    Just keep an eye outside on them if possible from time to time. If they look uncomfy (hunched up, waiting at a gate, shivering, etc) consider bringing them in or bringing some heated water down to the barn and topping off their cold water.
    Sometimes we forget that they need extra hydration to stay warm as well as extra hay.
    My 2 are outside and being dorky as usual. They are blanketed right now, but that's more for hay conservation. They get plenty normally and these temps wouldn't be an issue but it's windy here now too. Plus I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you" LOL!
    LMAO! Bold mine. This is why I chucked my mare and her BFF out today. Can I please, please use it for my sig line... it's like a daily sentiment.

    I agree with Misty and RA. If they aren't wet, let them have fun. You'll be able to tell when they are ready to come in.
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,411

    Default

    Mine are inside today simply because I am gone from 9-5, there is no good windbreak in my pasture, and with windchill the temps are supposed to be around -20* today. If I were around, I'd probably chuck them out for a few hours while I did chores/had lunch/until the mule started crying.

    I am usually a "chuck 'em out!" sort of person, but when I went in the barn this am, with the wind shaking the walls, they all seemed pretty content to stay in with hay and warm water! My mule can be a bit of a delicate flower to begin with, and his loooonnggg ears get very cold, so he had NO interest in going out!

    I keep them in maybe one or two days a year, so they do not fuss about it too much.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,144

    Default

    I also keep mine blanketed, saves a ton of hay! I switched to a heavy weight yesterday..felt under it a few times, they are toasty warm under there and we have windchills below zero this week and next. Mine are out with a run in, during the day they stand out and soak up whatever sun they can and play and play and play..... I feed them soaked alfalfa and beet pulp at night, a big, warm, slushy bucket of it to make sure they get some extra water...they always have hay in front of them too. They have a running creek in their paddock but I've also been known to offer buckets of warm water a couple times a day ;-) Mine only stay in if ice is a factor mainly and even then it's only because of falling tree limbs, I'd rather they were out adjusting to the footing as it happened rather than locked up and turned loose to figure it out in a bad way.
    Kerri



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2009
    Location
    Where the blacktop ends-Maryland
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Mine are in today, they are both sissies and would be standing in the run-in not eating the hay and looking longingly at the barn, so 11 degrees with a -7 windchill, they can stay in and munch while looking out the windows.
    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,914

    Default

    Our barn herd was turned out today. Temps with wind chill this morning was easily sub-zero. Most are heavily coated and not blanketed. They are playing in the windbreaks, staying warm. Water tank is heated, and they are filled up with hay. The indoor boarded horses will be coming in this afternoon. The outdoor board horses will have extra hay in the shed and heated water all night long.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    Mine stay out, but I will blanket in extreme conditions. (But our "extremes" will be different from other areas of the country-- my guys are fine with temps at/around zero).
    Like the other poster said, they'll tell you if they're cold (My guys were happy yesterday in 5-below temps because it was sunny, and the wind was from the north. Which meant they were hanging out on the south side of the barn, in the full sun. Mostly dozing and at times lying flat out asleep in the snow. But once the sun got low, they were agitated and running around but not in a playful way, crowding the gate when I came outside-- and then there's always the unmistakable sign of whuffling and nickering as I got the blankets out )

    Left them on today though. WC's are around -20, -25 and there's no sun to warm them up. The next cold front coming through in a couple of days is going to suck and I'm already grumpy about it.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,225

    Default

    All our horses are out with hay to chew, unfrozen water in the tanks. It is colder than they are used to, but they are all fluffy, no snow melts if it lands on their backs!

    No one is blanketed, but they are all healthy, in good body condition. We are bringing them in at night earlier than normal, temps really drop when the sun goes down. Plus we have a lot of humidity in the air, so temps "feel intense" when it gets this cold. Dry cold, doesn't seem to be "as cold" in my experience, so you need to deal with your local conditions. I see those folks skiing out West, temps down in the teens, only wearing snow pants and VESTS, no REAL hats, but it is dry cold.

    The young horses, weanling and 2yr old, seem to be managing fine, though they are from the East, not QUITE as hairy as our horses. I don't want to blanket, too many ways to get them in trouble. They are eating hay very well, but do wait at the gate to come in at sundown. No cold places on them, they wear snow, doesn't melt, ears are HAIRY and warm all the time.

    As with RAyers and MistyBlue, our horses go outside daily, cold, REALLY cold or warm days. Better for them and less work for ME. Sheet ice is the only reason to keep them inside until I can break it up with something for better traction.

    Going to enjoy the 20F on Sat and Sun, be almost like doing Florida, who is NOT that warm on last nights news! 36F in Ocala!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    4,115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    I leave them out. Wind chill of 0F is little consequence to a horse, unless they are somehow compromised. In general, people blanket and stable for their comfort, not the horse. It was -30F wind chill here three weeks ago. The idiots were blasting around the pasture.

    You did all you need with plenty of hay and unfrozen water.
    Exactly! Feed their hay in the wind-breaks, I use up to 1/3 more hay below 15 degrees, and keep that fresh water coming. They actually love this weather and are far more comfortable than with summer heat or flies.

    The "Oldest Old" or anyone thinner are wearing high-neck poofy Rambo rugs.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,490

    Default

    Whoa, it's going to get that low in FL, goodhors? 20 degrees in FL is worse than 0 degrees here in New England. We're acclimated to either really cold or massive temperature swings and we have the stuff we need for cold temps. I wouldn't imagine many in FL are equipped to deal with really cold temps, nor are they acclimated to it.

    It all depends on what each area is used to. We might gripe a bit when we're in negative numbers here, but it's not uncommon in my area. What would be unusual for us would be long term sustained temps that low. We're more likely to swing around by 10-30 degrees for a long cold snap, staying under freezing but probably wavering between 0 and +30 degrees.
    In some areas more Midwest and north of here having weeks of negative temps isn't unusual and those negative temps will get a lot lower than ours usually. So while FL and other areas might see our winters as *cold*, we'd feel the same way about temps in Michigan or South Dakota or near the lakes in upstate NY. And FL & LA can laugh at us in summer when I'm wandering around moaning about 90 degrees with 75% humidity.

    At least the upside of New England is that we can get every extreme out there...sometimes in one day, LOL! But none of it ever lasts long here. We have to hit 90 degrees for 3 straight days for it to be considered a heat wave, in other states that considered July, August and September. I guess the rough part of this area's weather is the constant changes, it can make hot temps feel a lot hotter if it's never here long enough to get used to it. Same with the cold temps. But I'm pretty sure we don't have the monopoly on weird weather changes either.

    Superminion, feel free to use that. It's my horses' favorite game.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2010
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Mine stayed in late, and luckily since DH is home today, are able to be out this afternoon for a few hours.

    Wind chills are -20* or so here, and I have one boarder that is 27, another boarder that would prefer her horse be in due to the temps, and my own mare who is constantly a challenge to keep weight on. That leaves one candidate for chucking out into the weather, my TB gelding who could pretty well stand out there in anything (and he'd rather be inside where his buddies are).

    But, they really are happier in, out of the wind, with warm water and plenty of hay. They are out now for 4-5 hours. Typically they are out 12-14 hours a day, and I'll kick them all out at night in the winter if the weather is milder (above 20* and no heavy winds/snow/rain).

    I keep them all blanketed, too. It truly does help keep weight on and reduces my hay expenses. I really have a hard time believing the hype that blankets/stabling do nothing for them - I can see how much happier and easier to keep my horses are when blanketed and left inside when the weather is bad.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,408

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    I have the wimpiest Amish horse ever, who's in the wimpiest herd of Amish horses ever. There are show horses that are less of a hot house flower.

    She's inside, with a heavy blanket on, with the rest of the crew.

    BO has her & a couple others that are big, rangy and inclined to drop weight when it gets really cold, so they are in. There's not much of wind break outside, and that wind coming across 2 fields is rough.

    Nobody's really bouncing off the walls though, they usually settle into an indoor routine pretty quick.

    He's also got some Christmas boarders that are super super skinny (a long story) that should be in heated stalls right now. Besides that his wife doesn't anyone to see them in their fields.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001
    Posts
    6,704

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    One thing that needs to be recognized, humidity and wind chill actually have no bearing on the risk of frost bite etc. The coldest skin (actually any material) can go is the absolute temperature of the air. Thus, if it is 32 degrees, and the wind is 60mph, it may feel like 10 but water will still not freeze. Wind chill is simply a subjective measure of how the temperature feels (e.g. rate of heat loss).


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,425

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    It's 14 degrees here and my livestock are out. They're blanketed (because they're clipped). They've got plenty of hay and water.

    They're fine - they are galumphing around and eating, drinking and pooping.

    We had an ice storm not long ago - they did stay in overnight for that. Otherwise they are out out out.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,640

    Default

    Mine are in because I am a wuss. They probably would be fine out.....22 y/o mare has a nice blanket, young gelding has his wooly bear fur....they have a round bale and water....but I sleep better after tucking them into stalls. Back out tomorrow though, it's going to be 30F.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,220

    Default

    I'm struggling on whether or not to leave my outside bunch outside tonight, and if I should blanket them. Low is -1 F I believe, not including windchill. The two I usually leave unblanketed are super furry, easy keepers. They have access to shelter. I've left them unblanketed when its snowing and low 30's. But this is the first year it's been super cold since I've had my horses home.
    I threw blankets on them last night so they wouldn't get wet from the snow, but can't decide what I want to do tonight. Oh the choices.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    4,115

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    I just filled up all the 100-gallon tubs with yummy WARM water. Hooked the hose up to a hose-faucet converter fitting (about 85 cents) in the pantry, threw the hoses out the window and Hoo-RAH! everybody's got open warm water to tank up on for the night's hay. Didn't even have to thaw out the outside spigot!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    One thing that needs to be recognized, humidity and wind chill actually have no bearing on the risk of frost bite etc. The coldest skin (actually any material) can go is the absolute temperature of the air. Thus, if it is 32 degrees, and the wind is 60mph, it may feel like 10 but water will still not freeze. Wind chill is simply a subjective measure of how the temperature feels (e.g. rate of heat loss).
    Not correct. Wind chill absolutely increases the risk of frostbite, because the wind carries heat away from the body much more quickly. So skin temperature does drop more quickly than without the wind. Let's say ambient temp is 20degrees. It's true that with or without wind, your skin will not get below that ambient temperature. But as part of a living body that is generating heat from within, your skin wasn't going to get close to 20 degrees anyway, assuming little or no wind. I can be outside all day long in 20deg temps without much risk of frostbite. But with a strong wind carrying away that protective body heat, it becomes possible for the skin to freeze in a fraction of the time.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion


    2 members found this post helpful.

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