Large Animal Care Tips For Beginners

Over the last few years, there has been a definite increase in people who are interested in homesteading and starting mini farms. Taking care of larger animals, such as horses and cows, can be very rewarding, but it also takes a lot of work. It’s also an area where you can never really know too much. An Eau Claire, WI vet offers some advice on caring for large animals in this article.

Find A Good Vet

One of your best resources—and perhaps your most crucial ally—is going to be a knowledgeable vet. With farm animals, it’s always good to have someone that is on call, as things can happen at any time.

Err On The Side Of More Space

Newbie farmers may find it easy to look up a site that offers some guidelines on the minimum amount of land a specific animal needs, and go by that. If you have horses, you may be able to fit them onto a few acres, but they’ll quickly eat every blade of available grass. It’s best to have enough room to allow for rotational grazing. You may also need space to expand.

Don’t Isolate Them

Many larger animals are more or less hardwired to be part of a herd, and will get very lonely without buddies. Horses, alpacas, goats, and cows are all examples of this. We recommend getting at least two.

Bond With Your Animals

Offering ear scritches and treats is fun, but it’s also very important. Take time to form good relationships with your animals! This will allow for easier handling, and will also make it easier for you to spot signs of trouble.

Know Seasonal Challenges

Starting a farm? You’ll soon become very, very in tune with and aware of seasonal changes. For instance, you’ll need extra bedding and perhaps extra grain in winter. In summer, you’ll need to really stay on top of keeping your animals cool, hydrated, and parasite-free.

Never Stop Learning

Whether it’s finding out the hard way that a horse with flattened ears is not happy, or realizing that one of your goats is isolating herself because she’s sick, you’re always going to have more to learn. Do plenty of research, and connect with local farmers and resources. Always the student!

As your local Eau Claire, WI animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Contact us anytime!

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