The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2003


Animal Beat: winter care

I am doing another round of state-required barn inspections and overall this is a pretty satisfying happy experience in Carlisle. Carlisle has lovely domestic animals, many so beautiful as to take one's breath away, warm fuzzy art forms.

Most of the animals l've seen glow from the pampering of their human partners, and they tell me by their contentedness that all is well. I'm sure they would prefer that every day be mild and bright but winter is here.

Consider taking smaller caged pets inside. It breaks my heart to see rabbits with frozen water in lick-it bottles. Those metal-ball-in-tube-ends freeze fast and then the animal has no water. Perhaps a smaller cage sitting in a plastic tray inside would work, or any of a number of creative pet-housing options to keep the animal warm, clean and out of the cold.

Water in winter is a huge problem for all of us with animals that go outdoors. Horses repeatedly break the ice in their outdoor water containers to get a drink. The fresher the water, the longer it will take to freeze. I hope water will be changed often if you have no way of heating buckets and stock tanks safely. Plug-in buckets and stock tank heaters are popular. No solution is perfect but if we keep animals, we must take care of them.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito