You know the saying, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” That’s our mantra here at Farm Sanctuary as we prepare for the cold months ahead.
We hope Mother Nature will be gentle on us this winter, but judging by the harsh conditions of the past few years and the fact that we’ve already had our first snowfall of the season, we must be ready for a very difficult few months.
We have a long list of essential maintenance projects and repairs needed to ready our shelters for winter—and we must spend more than $81,500 to get the work done.
Please donate to our Winter Farm Maintenance Fund to help us complete these and other critical projects before the cold weather arrives.
I’m particularly concerned with meeting our New York Shelter’s hay needs this winter. Because of our extra-dry summer, our pastures have been brown for weeks, which means our cows, pigs, goats, and sheep were already depending on hay for food in early September—two months earlier than usual! We initially estimated $60,000 to meet our hay needs, but that number will likely skyrocket now that we’ve turned to hay so early in the season and especially as temperatures fall.
Meanwhile, Shelter staff are busy winterizing the many barns on our properties. We go over every exterior wall and close all gaps and cracks to protect the animals from dangerous drafts. Even at our Northern California shelter, 50-mile per hour wind gusts can tear the doors right off the barns if not properly maintained. In addition, we must go around the foundation of each structure and fill in any gaps between the ground and the wall. It will cost $3,000 a month to maintain our shelter structures over the winter months, but we have no choice because animal safety is on the line. Estimated cost: $9,000
At our New York shelter we have a big project with a hefty price tag. We need to replace all 10 of the shelter’s water hydrants and all the water lines leading up to them. Last year, during the coldest stretch of winter, the water lines burst. With winter approaching, we must replace the hydrants and run new water lines to the barns. Estimated cost: $12,500
Donate now to help get this work done. Your gift will also help close down far away pastures, put up snow fencing, and prepare for icy areas by ordering several tons of sand.
All of this work is done with the animals in mind. That’s why we’re ordering extra straw bedding (100 tons of it!), and identifying individual animals who might need extra help enduring the winter. We’re particularly concerned about the several elderly sheep, goats and cows. Kirsty, for instance, is a 28 year-old cow who has become quite frail. We’ve ordered her a horse coat which should fit her quite nicely and give her the extra warmth she needs—but just this one coat costs $100.
There’s a lot to do, but animals like Kirsty are worth it. I know you agree.
Donate now to help Farm Sanctuary so we can ensure the safety and well-being of our animal residents and continue all of our work for farm animals this winter.
Hurry! Winter will be here soon and we must be ready.
||Yours for farm animals,
President and Co-Founder