This is the time of year we prepare for harsh winters here at Lucky Glider Ranch. Over the past decade or so, we have gleaned plenty of tips and best practices on dealing with freezing temperatures. Some highlights:

Consider No-Freeze water hydrants as part of your water distribution strategy. These fixtures use a weep hole deep in the ground so when you turn the water off, what’s left in the standpipe drains out instead of freezing above ground.

Use either floating or submersible heaters in your stock tanks. This sure beats breaking up ice or carrying water so critters can drink.

You can use inexpensive 250 watt heat lamps and secure them in place using a wire or metal frame with mesh. These are great for chicken houses, geese, and other fowl.

More tips on Tanks, Heaters, and Lamps:

Re-purposing Stock Tanks. Don’t discard old, leaky stock tanks! You can turn them on their sides and use them as shelter for aquatic birds, goats, sheep and other small animals. Here at the ranch, we use stock tanks even inside covered shelters to help break the wind and hold heat for geese and other animals.

Submersible Heater Tips. Heaters may erode the metal at the bottom of some stock tanks. You can avoid this by placing them on a brick inside of a small metal feed bowl or pan. This keeps the heating element from oxidizing the metal at the bottom of your tanks.

Heat Lamp Enclosures. We usually pair-up heat lamps in case one burns out or breaks just to have backup. Regardless, it’s a good idea to house the lamps in a rugged enclosure. You can make a frame out of 2x4s or square pipe and then wrap your frame with 1×1 steel wire. This allows the heat to get through but keeps animals from getting too close to the heat source.

We welcome visitors and volunteers at Lucky Glider Ranch and especially during colder months because it takes longer to get chores done in the winter. If you don’t have time, but still want to help, you are welcome to Donate. We are a 501(c)3 public charity / non-profit organization. This means all donations are tax deductible.

Stay tuned for more on what’s going on at the ranch. If you have questions on the content of this newsletter feel free to contact us at any time. Thanks for tuning in to the Lucky Glider Rescue & Sanctuary Newsletter.