How do you stay safe and keep your farm healthy?
September 18-24 is National Farm Safety and Health Week, a celebration of farmers and their animals. The holiday recognizes the importance of farms in our nation.
Farm life has been proven to boost the immune system, suggesting dirty jobs have quite the health benefits.
Health of the animals is important for the success of a family farm. We came up with some tips for keeping everyone--farmers and pets--safe and healthy in the pastures and stables.
1. Prepare for the weather.
Remember hats and sunscreen in the sunshine and boots around heavy, hoofed animals. Provide shade and ample water for animals to cool down and drink in the heat.
In the winter, bundle yourself and your animals with blankets and offer heat lamps and shelter.
2. Watch for fly strike.
Keep pens clean to avoid nesting fly larvae on your animals' skin. Maggots are no fun for anyone to deal with!
3. Bond with your animals.
Goats, horses, pigs, and even chickens can bond with their humans just like dogs. This builds up a level of trust that can increase ease of handling and lessen the chance of injuries by aggression.
4. Have enough space.
It can be fun to keep your farm family growing, but remember how much land you can provide your barnyard pets. They'll need room to exercise without feeling overcrowded, in addition to spaces for eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom.
5. Schedule vet visits.
Make sure your animals have an established veterinarian for regular check-ups and emergencies. Be prepared for vaccinations and farrier work as needed.
6. Maintain equipment.
Keep tractors, plows and other farm equipment oiled and cleaned. Protective shields not only keep the driver and passersby safe but also protect the machinery from weather.
Running a farm is a daily commitment as well as a lifestyle choice. But many would choose farm over city life any day, even when the animals, weather and workload are at their worst.
Keep your farm safe and healthy this year and every year!