Running a farm takes a lot of work, especially if you also have animals on your farm. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to animal and farm care; vaccinating your animals, proper cleaning and sanitation, tools used for farm care, etc. While the tasks you perform on your farm generally relate to one or the other, farm care or animal care, it doesn’t always have to be separate. Here are a few tips for your farm care that can also have a direct impact on the health of your animals.
Create and Revisit Your Farm Plan
One thing many farmers do when they first start working with a farm is to create a plan of action, otherwise known as a farm plan. This plan lays out their goals and desires for their farm care and how they plan to meet them. A farm plan is essential in starting a farm so that you have a clear view of where you want to focus and what to get done. It also helps any workers you hire know what the goals are for the farm and know where to focus their efforts. It’s also important to revisit the plan frequently to update it with new information and to transition between different seasons and focuses. This plan will help farmers and workers to focus on the most important things and have a goal each day for their tasks. With goals on focus on specific aspects of farm care and animal health, you’re sure to have a healthy and successful farm.
Find a Trustworthy Farm Loan Company
Farming is an expensive endeavor. In fact, in 2018 the value for farmland and buildings in the U.S. totaled $2.7 trillion. Farm care requires materials of all kinds, tools, machinery, animals, and much more. A farmer may realize that they need a new tool, or experience a natural disaster that leaves a portion of their farm damaged. A good way to ensure that you’ll be able to take care of your farm regardless of the highs and lows you face is to find a trustworthy company you can work with for a small farm loan. Whether you need to update a portion of your farm or are planning on doing some new construction to expand, a small loan will always come in handy. It is also helpful to have this information in case an emergency requires you to suddenly need funds to take care of sick animals or handle emergency damages.
Have a Reliable Veterinarian on Speed Dial
As a farm with animals, you likely have worked with or have a relationship with a veterinarian. This is the number one most important connection to have as a farmer. You may think that you have enough knowledge or experience to care for your own animals, but a trained veterinarian is a much better bet when it comes to the health and safety of your animals. If you haven’t yet established a good working relationship with a veterinarian, now is the time to create one! Do the proper research to find a veterinarian that works with large animals in your area. Meet with them and make sure you will work well together. Then, keep their number on speed dial. Working with a good veterinarian also impacts farm care when it comes to disease or illness. If you have a trustworthy veterinarian, you’ll be able to call them quickly in case of sickness to limit the spread to other species or even to crops via manure.
Care for the Landscape
The landscape on your farm is number one for farm care and can have quite a large impact on the health of your animals. If your farm is located in an area where the landscape has a lot of hills and slopes, you’ll want to work with landscape contractors to level the land where you animals are located. Heavy rains that flood down into the animal’s corrals could not only lead to drowning but can also spread disease from their manure. You will also want to find a tree care specialist. Having trees on your farm will provide for natural shade and relief to your animals during warm months. Working with a tree specialist will help you to keep those trees healthy, whether they’re for harvesting purposes or simply for looks.
Update Your Machinery
The machinery you use for your farm care and animal care makes a big difference in how quickly and effectively you are able to get your tasks done. For example, many farmers would say the most important machine machine on their farm is their tractor. They may use it for harvesting crops, landscaping, to move large items around the farm, etc. Looking at different tractor packages tractor packages to upgrade and update the machinery on your farm will give you a better idea of what tools you can add to your arsenal to care for your animals, fulfill tasks on the farm, and have things run more smoothly overall.
Consider Adopting More Sustainable Agricultural Habits
Many farming tactics, unfortunately, have a negative effect on the land and animals around them. They can strip the soil of their nutrients and leave harmful pollutants in the air and water. Thankfully many scientists and farmers have worked together to find different tactics that still effectively harvest and care for farmland, but also get rid of the negative effects of more common agricultural habits. Adopting some of these more sustainable habits to your farm’s daily routine could not only have a huge impact on the health of your animals as they will be exposed to less chemical and pollutants, but it will also positively impact the environment.
Focus on the Upkeep of Your Barn
The barn is one of the most important buildings on your farm. It may be used to house animals at night or in poor weather or for the storage of tools and machinery. Either way, you’ll want to ensure that your barn is kept at top shape. One large downfall for barns can be a leaky roof. It lets in moisture that can cause mold or rust tools and machinery. Find a company that you trust for leaky roof repair so you can quickly call on them if this becomes a problem for your barn. Along with that, you’ll want to make sure you waterproof elements of the barn and your tools. Waterproofing is an important step in building a barn, but if not done properly should be updated as soon as possible to avoid mold and moisture in unwanted places. Another important thing to make sure is working properly is the water heater for your barn. If you have plumbing in your barn and use it for cleaning of tools, machines, or animals, having a working water heater is important. Make sure you have the proper resources to ensure that it continues working during cold weather as well to prevent freezing or burst pipes.
Practice Safe Handling of Animals
This not only affects your farm care and animals but yourself as well. Animals are unpredictable, even those that have worked with people all their lives. Working with animals needs to be done with caution. Make sure that any workers you have on your farm have proper training and are prepared to work with animals regardless of the species, size or gender. Ensuring that your farm is stocked with the proper tools to move animals will greatly help with both their and your safety. You should also ensure that the design of their living space and fences make for easy movement and care as well as that they are properly maintained. It is also a good idea to have at least one person on your farm trained in first aid in case of emergency.
Apply Proper Waste Management Habits
Proper waste management is one of the most important things to consider in regards to cleanliness and farm care. Not only does it keep your farm smelling as fresh as possible, but proper waste management can also help stop the spread of disease and illness on your farm and keep both your animals and any farmworkers protected as well. Having a plan for how to use or dispose of your animal’s manure is the first step. The manure can be used as a rich fertilizer for your crops. If you don’t have crops on your farm, you’ll need to have a plan for how to dispose of or sell the manure to keep your fields as clean as possible. Whatever you do, ensuring that your farm waste management is in order is one of the most important things to consider for farm and animal health.
Keep Everything Clean and Sanitized
Along with waste management, another important step in farm care is sanitation. This is even more important on animal farms where tools are used with different species or potentially sick animals. Ensure that you have proper cleaning agents and a space to store them where they won’t be infected or become dirty between uses. It’s also important to make sure that any chemicals that are used when cleaning tools drain to proper places and don’t mix into soil or water used for crops and animals. You’ll also want to avoid rusting with your tools to preserve them for long term usage. This requires a dry space for storage and proper cleaning. Taking care to properly clean the tools you use on your farm will again prevent the spread of illness or disease and help to keep your animals in better health.
Take Care of Your Farm Home
You can’t properly execute farm care if you don’t first care for yourself and your home. Make sure your home is a place where you can properly rest and relax from your farm duties. One largely overlooked part of home care is the chimney. Many people don’t clean their chimney often enough or fail to realize that there is damage letting moisture in or warm air out. Find a reliable commercial chimney repair company in your area to check out your chimney and ensure that it’s in proper working condition. It is also wise to have some sort of air purification system. With potential fumes from machinery or smells from animals on your farm, your home should be a place where you can go to take a fresh breath of air. While taking care of your personal home may not seem to have a direct effect on your animals, your ability to work hard and have the energy necessary to run your farm will.
Consider Planting a Cover Crop
Cover crops are a golden tool when used for farm care. They are crops planted in unused fields to build up the fertility of the soil, prevent weeds and help to control pests and plant diseases. Cover crops are also used to prevent erosion and control the amount of water than runs off of the field or pasture, which can keep other areas of your farm, such as animal corrals, from flooding and spreading disease. They also help to break down fungus in the soil that can spread disease to other crops or animals. Overall, cover crops can make a big difference for both your crops and animals on your farm.
Farm care is on the minds of all farmers, whether it’s in regards to their land and crops or their animals. Considering and applying these tactics to your farm’s plan and routine will have a huge impact on your animal’s health and could make all the difference in the success of your farm this year.