From understanding the basic needs of healthy horses to ensuring your ranch is ethical, humane, and successful, there are plenty of things to do when running a farm. Ultimately though, your primary focus should be your animals, which is why it’s so important for ranchers and ranch hands to know how to provide a positive environment for any animal who lives there.
Clean Water, Always
Animals need to be hydrated just as much as humans do, but that doesn’t mean they should settle for dirty water. This issue risks feeding them contaminated water that could cause sickness, especially if the water contains bacteria that cause tapeworms and other parasites. Furthermore, you shouldn’t use frozen water as the animals will not be able to drink as much and it could create a negative association. Instead, be sure to source fresh water and provide a thorough amount throughout the day.
Understand Your Animals’ Food Requirements
Every animal has different dietary needs, so you need to educate yourself to ensure you provide them with the best nutrients. Do not expect that you can feed horses and pigs the same thing because this causes dietary problems and affects their well-being. Instead, learning the secrets of formulating good pig feed can make a substantial difference in your animal’s quality of life.
Keep Their Stable and Pen Clean
You wouldn’t want to live in a messy home, so why should your animals deal with it? You may not need to worry about vacuuming every day, but you should still make the time to clean their stables and pens regularly to ensure your animals do not risk disease through unpleasant and unhygienic living conditions. Taking the time to keep their space clean will encourage better health and keep them happy, which is what a rancher needs to ensure successful working animals.
Don’t Forget About Grooming
Some ranchers don’t believe in grooming, especially if their animals are not visiting shows. However, establishing a consistent grooming habit will keep your animals looking their best and prevent potential issues, such as illness from ticks or other insect bites. You can research cattle grooming to discover what you need to do to keep them in excellent condition. The same goes for horses, especially keeping their hooves healthy to make it easier for them to move around.
Be Prepared for Anything
From stuck animals to sudden weather changes, you must be prepared for anything on your ranch. This means leaping into action when necessary. It’s worth investing in safe and suitable gear, such as appropriate farm clothing, cowboy hats to protect your eyes from the sun, and gloves. You can also consider practice drills that teach you to get around the ranch as quickly as possible (on horse or with an ATV) to attend to possible problems you could face.
The Right Way
No one said that owning a ranch was easy, but it can become more straightforward if you prioritize your animals’ health and well-being. These tips may seem obvious to experienced ranch owners, but anyone new to the game could learn a lot to ensure they take excellent care of their animals.